Worker who can't balance till gets $13,566 for unfair dismissal

Tuesday 5 September, 2017

A bartender whose till was out by hundreds of dollars had her shifts cut. She has won more than $13,000.

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She made a mistake, but did not expect to be fired. But that’s what effectively happened when a bartender had her shifts drastically cut at the Sydney RSL club she worked for, the Fair Work Commission found, ordering it to pay the woman $13,566 in compensation for an unfair “constructive dismissal”.

The Commission heard that the young woman, who worked about 30 hours a week at the George St venue, was pregnant when her supervisor pulled her aside for the second time to discuss a discrepancy in her cash-handling duties.

 

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Her till had been out by $188.75 after she failed to properly record a payout to a patron in the gaming room, and again by $100 for reasons that were not ascertained.

While the worker offered to repay the money out of her own funds, instead she was told that her shifts would be cut as she was no longer allowed to handle cash on the job — at least not untill she had undergone extra training. This meant that she would only get one shift in the upcoming weekly roster.

The manager claimed that the woman then agreed to resign, but she maintains that she did not.

She handed over her work uniforms and left, but when the manager sent her an email titled ‘confirmation of resignation’ the next day, she hit back.

The worker replied that she was “shocked to read the contents within your email” and “I want to make it extremely clear that at no point in time did I put forward a verbal resignation.”

She continued that “by not providing me with the usual regular shifts I have received from day one you have effectively terminated my employment.”

And, since the change box incidents were not reasonable grounds for dismissal, she argued the RSL had unfairly sacked her.

The Fair Work Commission agreed, finding that the RSL had effected what is known as a “constructive dismissal” — regardless of whether it intended to dismiss the worker.

The commission ordered the RSL to pay the woman $13,566, the equivalent of 16 weeks’ wages, in compensation.

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