RSA told to pay late wages, compensation
Gisborne RSA has been caught out not paying compensation to a former employee who won a personal grievance case.
Last year, Janette Chesnutt took Gisborne Returned and Services’ Association (RSA) to the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) over a botched disciplinary process.
The ERA awarded in her favour in October, ordering Gisborne RSA to pay $3026 for wage reimbursements, and $6000 compensation for humiliation and loss of dignity.
The RSA had 28 days to pay. But it did not cough up, leading to the ERA again ordering that the association pay Chesnutt.
In a decision released on Wednesday, the ERA told the association it needed to pay within 14 days, even though it planned to appeal the original decision.
Gisborne RSA president Ben Tahata yesterday said the money had not been paid because an appeal had been lodged by the association in the Employment Court.
‘‘The intention of the RSA is to continue to file an objection to the whole ERA decision, and that is in the process,’’ he said. ‘‘The decision to the new application is still to be heard, so we will not be paying.’’
Chesnutt’s advocate, Michelle England, said Tahata was wrong, and had been told so numerous times by the court.
‘‘The rules state a challenge does not operate as a stay. We will be taking further action in the courts to enforce further payments if the RSA doesn’t pay.’’
Chesnutt’s complaint in the original ERA decision centred on how Tahata had treated her, and the concerns he raised about her work habits.
When Chesnutt took sick leave because of stress caused by her work environment, Tahata refused to pay her and the RSA deemed her medical certificate ‘‘invalid’’.
Chesnutt was also banned from returning to work, her hours were reduced and her job advertised while she was still in the role.