The Press

Bullying alleged by fired man


A man who claimed he suffered ongoing bullying before being unjustifia­bly dismissed by his employer has been awarded more than $10,000.

The Employment Relations Authority (ERA) found Canterbury Butynol Fixers Ltd, a North Canterbury roofing company, unjustifia­bly dismissed Michael Clark on Easter Monday last year.

The dismissal followed what Clark told the ERA was a period where he was called names, physically pushed and shouted at to get things within company director James Dawson’s reach.

Dawson admitted he yelled at Clark when when he found him on his phone or told him to do something and got a ‘‘smart reply’’ back. He denied the other allegation­s.

Clark had not raised a personal grievance regarding the alleged bullying so the ERA did not have jurisdicti­on to consider the claims.

But it accepted Clark was a ‘‘fairly vulnerable person’’ who suffered mental health issues as a result of his dismissal.

Clark was dismissed after sending a text message to Dawson claiming he could not be back at work on the Tuesday after Easter.

Clark had travelled to Blenheim for the weekend with his partner and her child, who became sick. The couple did not want to travel with her in that condition, he said.

Dawson said Clark had been cited for continual lateness, lying and excuses, using his phone repeatedly, ‘‘unforgivab­le workmanshi­p’’ and ‘‘smart answering back’’.

Dawson’s company was ordered to pay Clark more than $5500 in lost wages and holiday pay, as well as $5000 compensati­on for humiliatio­n, loss of dignity, and injury to feelings.

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