News Article

latest news in employment law

Judge Overrules Boss who Slapped Worker's Behind 'in jest'

Published 10 May 2015

A business owner in Hamilton was ordered by a Judicial Settlement judge to pay $5000 to a former employee for slapping her on the bottom.

The employee had resigned in December, alleging that the business' owner had 'slapped' her on the bottom and sexually harassed her.

The case was originally heard by the Employment Relations Authority (ERA), which found that the business owner's actions were made 'in jest' and did not constitute sexual harassment. The employee appealed and was concurred at a pre Employment Court Judicial Settlement.

The business owner was ordered to pay the employee $5000, and also engage an HR advisor to conduct a session about employment practices and sexual harassment in his workplace.
Clearly the ERA made a poor decision in the first instance, however on appeal the message is loud and clear; sexual harassment in the workplace will not be tolerated.

Ensure you have your bullying/harassment policy in place and that all staff know about it.

See our eBook on Harassment and Bullying in the Library section of the Employers Toolbox for our Employers Support Package members to download. Alternatively non members can purchase it from our online store here :