The Bach case

April 24th, 2012 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The Dom Post editorial:

One what would happen should a State Services Commission employee approach chief executive Iain Rennie, place his or her hands on his head, and inquire what is going on in there.

Till a few days ago conjecture would have been irrelevant. The employee would have been stood down while an inquiry was conducted, then, once the facts were confirmed, dismissed for unacceptable behaviour. The whole process would have taken a matter of days. Some things are simply unacceptable in the workplace. One of them is employees manhandling their bosses; another is bosses manhandling employees.

I’m not sure this is the case. Certainly such behaviour is unacceptable. But one can not sack without warning someone for doing something unacceptable unless it meets a threshold. I suspect an employment tribunal would find in favour of an employee sacked for the above, if it was a one off, and they were otherwise a good employee.

Hence I am not one of those saying Katrina Bach should have been sacked. She should have been disciplined, warned and (unlike most employees) is suffering a financial penalty for her misconduct.

Again I am not defending her conduct. I’m just saying that the law applies equally to all employees.

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