A roof worker who was told to ‘harden up’ and then fired after he called in sick has been awarded $20,000.
Jack Lane was sacked from AB Roofing Ltd in Palmerston North, New Zealand after he told his boss he was sick on Anzac Day in 2017.
Mr Lane sent a text saying he could not come in and his boss replied: ‘Harden up or no more job.’
He asked if he was fired and the boss replied: ‘Don’t bother turning up. Over you wasting my time.’
Four days later Mr Lane asked for his final pay worth $3,300 and was told via text ‘u can f*** rite off mate.’
Mr Lane took his case to the employment relations authority and was last week awarded $20,000 including legal costs, unpaid wages and $12,000 compensation.
During the hearing, he said he was confused by being sacked and felt betrayed by his boss.
He said his sacking affected his personal life and he moved cities after it affected a relationship.
He said the sacking brought an ‘end to the first time things were going right.’
Adjudicator Mike Loftus said: ‘Having considered the evidence which I find relatively strong when compared to that I often hear along with current precedents I conclude an award of $12,000 appropriate.’
AB Roofing company director Aaron Billingham did not turn up to the hearing.
But when questioned by the New Zealand Morning Herald, he said it was not him but a former employee who told Mr Lane to ‘harden up’.
‘Well, what happened was he didn’t show up for four days,’ he said.
A spokesman for AB Roofing said there had been miscommunication between all parties and that it plans to appeal the decision.