I am a foreign investor owner/employer in NZ. One of our staff of nearly 2 years was not happy working at our farm and had become a serious disrupting influence within the team including racial abuse of fellow staff. He had stated to the manager that he was keen to pursue another carreer in another area and had advertised in pursuit of an opportunity. The company offered him 1 month's extra pay along with all entitlements due to him to date in order to encourage and allow him to pursue the other job opportunities. He accepted the offer have considering it for a period of time and informed the manager as well as administrator that he was leaving and had had 3 offers of alternative employment - he requested from our manager and received a reference fo r a petential employer offer he had received. He said his goodbyes on a thursday morning and did not turn upto work on the Friday. The company administrator wrongfully assumed that he would sign the full and final settlement between the company and himself outlining the monies being paid to him and that by accepting he would cease to be an employee. He however managed not to sign but the owner was told he had signed and paid out the monies to the employee as the final settlement. The now considered ex-employee then comes back to work on the following monday claiming he did not understand and that he wants to sue for wrongful dismissal, along with making a lot of false statements/accusations against the company and that he wants to sue the company. He is asking for mediation and wants us to reply in writing within 7 days otherwise he will proceed to Employment Law courts. He chooses not to return to the work place as he claims the environment is now unwelcoming to him and he has suffered a loss of dignity. We realise he is milking the situation and has a record of extracting all sorts of benefits from the state. We have written to him to explain what actions the Company did in offereing him an incentive to leave and have asked him to list out his grievances but he refuses to but just gives a vitriolic and threatening reply. Please advise us of our rights or best course of action to take now?
Hi, I’m a moderator for this topic and I wonder whether you’re still waiting for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will do my best to find a professional to assist you right away. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you. Thank you!
Sometimes, finding the right Expert can take a little longer than expected and we thank you greatly for your understanding. We’ll be in touch again shortly.
HiWelcome to JustAnswer. This does seem like someone being ambitious in their claim. The mediation however is the place where all of these matters can be fully discussed and this should be an attractive option for a number of reasons. The first is that whatever is discussed at the mediation remains confidential to the mediation and cannot be used anywhere else. It also enables you to properly assess the case and the risk and see if you contest this or settle. I would suggest you continue the investigation so you are ready for the mediation and can outline the facts and the agreement he refused to sign.
You could call his bluff and ask for a refund, and offer this, and this action may also help if the matter goes to a determination with the Employment Relations Authority. But your description of events seems to cover your position pretty well. If this evidence is presented he would find it very hard to prove constructive dismissal, which I assume is what he is trying. The acceptance of the offer and the actions of saying goodbye make him look as if he has come to regret his contract made to leave on those terms. This would be difficult for him to achieve any ERA result in his favour.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).