Worker wins $4000 over toilet troubles

  • 28/10/2015
Worker wins $4000 over toilet troubles

A road construction supervisor sacked for refusing to move a portaloo from a work site has won $4000 after an investigation found he was unfairly dismissed.

John Gemmell had been working for civil engineering firm Quality Roading & Services for three years when he was suspended with pay after he moved a portaloo onto a Wairoa worksite in February.

His manager instructed him to remove it, but he refused as he disagreed with his boss' direction.

This led to a stand-off over four days resulting in Mr Gemmell being "stood down".

Mr Gemmell said he never refused the instruction but admitted to dragging his heels because removing it would be a health and safety issue for the worksite.

He also refused to be handed letters informing him he had been suspended because his superiors had not asked him for his side of events before reaching their decision.

After a fiery meeting between the two parties, Mr Gemmell was dismissed from the firm.

The Employment Relations Authority found Mr Gemmell was disadvantaged in his employment since there was no consultation between him and his employers before he was suspended.

The authority believed his income loss arising from his dismissal were justifiable, but the suspension was not leading.

Quality Roading & Services were ordered to pay Mr Gemmell $4000.

NZN