Disputes arise in all relationships and employment relationships are no exception. These disputes are wide ranging and include:
- Personal Grievance claims
- Arrears of Wages claims
- Holidays Act (private and inspectorate) claims
- De novo challenges in the Employment Court
- Breach of contract, compliance and penalty claims
- Human Rights Act claims, including discrimination
- Breach of Privacy Act claims
- Breach of fidelity, fiduciary, restraint of trade and misuse of confidential information claims
- Injunctions and other interim relief
- Strikes, Lockout and Pickets
- Occupational Safety and Health Prosecutions
We have a proven track record in advising clients on these disputes, whether it is advice on how to avoid them, how to resolve them, or on how to win them. We are results driven and hold to the view that litigation is best run by small, focused teams of individuals who know their client's case inside out. We have appeared in most jurisdictions in our areas of specialization, including Mediation Services, Employment Relations Authority, Employment Court, Human Rights Review Tribunal, the District and High Courts and the Court of Appeal.
Some of our recent and important contentious work includes:
- Representing General Distributors Limited in its defence (successful) of the first case brought against an employer and removed to the Employment Court for a breach of the "passing on" provisions in the Employment Relations Act 2000. In addition to considering the application of the new "passing on" provisions, this case also considered the procedural issues that arise in cases in which "bargaining fees" are included in collective agreements: National Distribution Union Inc. v General Distributors Limited (Employment Court).
- Representing Progressive Enterprises Limited, The Supply Chain Limited and General Distributors Limited in its lockout of striking employees at its warehouse distribution centre, including its successful defence of an Employment Court claim (including for an interim injunction) that it was in breach of the "strike breaker" provisions of the Employment Relations Act 2000. One important aspect of this case was the meaning of the word "employer" in the strike breaker provisions in the applicable legislation. National Distribution Union Inc. v The Supply Chain Limited (Employment Court).
- Representing Nortel Limited and three of its employees in High Court claims brought by their former employer for misuse of confidential information and conspiracies by unlawful means. The case is important for its examination of the law on preparatory steps that may be taken by a departing employee, including what is and what is not "confidential information", and because of one defendant's successful claim to overturn an Anton Piller Order obtained and executed unlawfully: SGS (NZ) Limited v Nortel & Ors (Employment Court).
- Representing 30 senior executives in their Employment Court claim against their employer, Hewlett Packard, that the removal of the superannuation scheme to which they and their employer were contributors was a "disadvantage" to their terms and conditions of employment. This case was the first case brought after the enactment of the KiwiSaver Act 2006 and that considered whether an employer was able to remove a superannuation benefit on the grounds the KiwiSaver scheme was a justified replacement scheme: Manning & Ors v Hewlett Packard (NZ) Limited (Employment Court).
- Representing the defendant in its defence of the test case brought by a breast feeding mother, in the Human Rights Review Tribunal, on the grounds that its treatment of her while breast feeding was "sex" discrimination pursuant to the Human Rights Act 1993 on the grounds of breast feeding. This case which is unheard will consider whether the definition of "sex" discrimination includes, breast feeding.
- Representing The Supply Chain Limited in its successful appeal to the High Court of a "manifestly excessive" sentence imposed on it by the District Court following a prosecution by the Department of Labour (OSH) under the Health and Safety in employment Act 1992: The Supply Chain Limited v Department of Labour (High Court).
- Representing Cabco Group Limited in its High Court claim (including claim for interim injunctions) against its former CEO for a breach of his fiduciary duties during and after his employment, for misuse of confidential information and unlawful conspiracies as a result of his pursuit of a venture alleged by Cabco to be the continuation of the venture undertaken by him during his employment by it: Cabco Group Limited v Bartlett & Ors (High Court).