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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22978
Experience:  38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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On the 14th November one of our employees gave us her

Customer Question

On the 14th November one of our employees gave us her resignation of two weeks as per her contract, she worked her Sunday shift and was then again rostered on on Tuesday however didn't show, she didn't contact her manager. She was still on her 90day trial. She made it impossible to be contactable as we have hours that needed to be signed off. However over the days that she didn't not come to work it became quite clear that there were takings from the till on her the shifts she was rostered on. We with held her pay as this needed to be discussed however the day after her pay day I got a letter from a lawyer stating to pay her.
My reply to the lawyer is as follows, "Ashliegh’s Manager has been trying to contact Ashleigh as we have only held back her pay as there are some unresolved issues that have come to light since she handed her 2 weeks notice in on Saturday the 14th November, she did not show for her shift on Tuesday the 17th of November and has not returned to work or made contact with her manager. In the week and a half that she has not been at work she has made herself un-contactable so this has made it very hard for us to have a conversation to clear the unresolved matter that prevents us from paying her. We have bent over backwards for Ashleigh and if she only had turned up for work and made herself contactable this all could have been resolved."
Her lawyer then replies, 'Can you be explicit in what the issues are, as our client is no longer in your employment. Irrespective of your wanting to meet with her, her wages must be paid.'
Our reply Yes, we have conflicting hours from her managers time sheets to her roster. She never turned up for work to sign off her hours so want to talk to her about the shifts she worked. Also her contract states that she needs to give us 2 weeks notice, she gave us one day! Then never turned up! She put our business and staff under extreme pressure as our manager had to come in and cover her on her day off for that first shift she never turned up.
Also we want to ask her about missing cash on her shifts she worked before she left. We are not singling her out we have discussed this with all our staff she is just the remaining staff member we need to talk to.
We feel really saddened that she has gone down this path as all we want to do is finalize her but she refuses to cooperate with us and we don't know why.
We are more than willing to come to the party but want the right ending not an unfair one for us
We also want to ask her why our manager continues to get asked to lie about not turning up to work and income seminars as she should not be getting any work and income benefits as she was employed by us.
Would love to talk to anyone about this."
We then receive a text from our previous employee stating that she would never steal from us. This is not how we wanted things handled and feel that her lawyers have just set us up.
If a person was innocent they would have no problem discussing any issues and wouldn't just up and leave. We don't have video proof unfortunately.
What are our rights?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

Unless you have good evidence of theft you may need to leave that issue. You are entitled to have a discussion about what hours she actually worked so you can calculate her pay. But you cannot withhold the pay when this has been sorted as that is illegal. So once she has a discussion about the hours worked and you reach agreement on the amount then that will have to conclude this. Of course if you had good evidence of theft or an admission you could go to the police but still not withhold pay