Hotel owner to pay $29k to employee for 'complete failure'

5:12 pm on 4 August 2019

The owner of a Blenheim hotel has been ordered to pay nearly $29,000 to an employee who quit because of the way she was being treated.

Generic stressed worker

Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

The Employment Relations Authority (ERA) found Dawn Langdon should not have been expected to put up with her employer's breaches of good faith.

Ms Langdon left her job as a bar manager at the Junction Hotel last year.

She said her employer, Mike Pink, ignored bullying claims and made her feel like a "complete failure".

In an email to Mr Pink at the time Ms Langdon said: "I am extremely upset and humiliated over the way I have been treated, when measured against the commitment and loyalty I have shown your business during my employment."

Ms Langdon ended her employment with Mr Pink on 4 March last year.

She received a letter from him that stated she had "bombarded" him with emails and personal meetings and it was only fair that he should be compensated for time wasted unnecessarily.

"I have had to spend hours in replying to your tirades which has kept me away from doing my normal work and as I am partially incapacitated at present, I find this totally unacceptable," he wrote.

"I think a figure of $500 is fair and I expect to receive this within seven days."

The authority found Mr Pink behaved in a way calculated or likely to severely damage the employment relationship, and ordered him to pay reimbursement of lost wages, payment for the lost benefit of the employer's contribution to KiwiSaver and holiday pay.

He was also ordered to pay compensation for humiliation, loss of dignity and injury to feelings of $18,000.