It’s always good to exceed your employer’s expectations, but what if you do it just by not dying when everyone thought you would. And then you get fired for it.
This is what happened to Len Clapham, whose employers knew full well he had terminal cancer. In fact they created a position for him on this basis and employed him on this basis. The only problem for the Auckland-based survey company Alexander and Co came when Len didn’t cash in his chips when he was expected to.
Len resigned from his former position as a CEO in Wellington and moved up to Auckland. The expectation of Alexander and Co. was six months, “even a six month period might be optimistic” , so they asked Len to sign their standard employment agreement rather than a fixed term contract. What they in fact got was near to a year, longer if Len hadn’t been shown the door in May 2011.
Len’s employers then made him redundant in what Clapham called a “sham redundancy”. The Employment Relations Authority agreed that the employers had “at best mixed motives”, heavily weighted in favour of edging Len out for reasons other than the downturn of business. Indeed, interest in Lens health and performance show that his employers had a great deal more than redundancy on their mind.
The Authority slammed Alexander and co for the “strong suggest[ion] that the redundancy was a sham” and the accompanying absence of consultation and Len duly received 14 weeks salary and $12,000 in compensation.
Cold comfort, perhaps.
Read more here:
- Dying man fired ‘for living too long’ (stuff.co.nz)