In another twist to the tale of f-bombs in the workplace,16 year old Mayson Bradford has lost her bid for compensation after flying off the handle at her employer in a phone conversation. Employment Relations Authority (ERA) member James Crichton held the hairdressing junior had a personal grievance after former employer, Anita Good of Zak’s Hairdressing of Halswell, failed to allow a cooling off period following an emotional outburst. However, this wasn’t enough to warrant compensation.
The teen, who didn’t return to work after her medical certificate lapsed, concluded the conversation by allegedly telling Miss Good “Don’t f—– bother, I quit”. While Bradford denied the conversation, Crichton said he was satisfied that it did indeed occur. “ It’s a relatively extraordinary state of affairs that a young employee would completely overlook a significant telephone discussion that she had with an employer, but that appears to be the position in this case”.
Crichton concluded that Bradford did have a personal grievance as a fair and reasonable employer would “not take at face value what was said (in the heat of the moment).” Accordingly, he held that Miss Good “ought to have engaged with Ms Bradford after the…call so as to ensure that, after a cooling off period, Ms Bradford still intended to resign her position.”
However, Crichton also found that Bradford’s “complete contribution to the circumstances” of the personal grievance made her “wholly responsible for it”, consequently she was deprived of any remedies, compensation or otherwise.
So maybe we’re not as loose with our language as our friends across the ditch. (see ‘What the f— do you have to do to get fired?’ https://employmentlawexperts.wordpress.com/2012/07/13/what-the-f-do-you-have-to-do-to-get-fired-these-days/ ). Or perhaps, given that remedies are still being considered, the Fair Work tribunal in the case of the salty tongued seaman, Mark Haliman, will come to similar conclusions as Crichton.
TESSA KATE HOGG 26/07/2012