Teenager Awarded $13k After Pocketing $12 Of Unclaimed Slots Winnings

Teenager Awarded $13k After Pocketing $12 Of Unclaimed Slots WinningsA teenager from New Zealand has been awarded $13,000 compensation for unfair dismissal, after she was fired for taking $12 of unclaimed slot machine winnings.
New Zealand’s Employment Relations Authority awarded Jamie Gwen Hammond, 18, the money having found her former manager responsible for misleading her as to standard procedures during her training at the Grosvenor Hotel in Timaru.
On at least one previous occasion the former manager had allegedly shared out $320 in unclaimed winnings between her staff, potentially committing an unlawful act as the unclaimed gaming money should have legally been deposited into the Pub Charity Trust’s bank account.
As a result of her manager’s actions, after a customer asked Ms Hammond to change his $24 slots winnings into notes but left before collecting his winnings, Ms Hammond believed she was breaking no rules by dividing up and pocketing the unclaimed money. As far as Ms Hammond was concerned, she believed she was following correct practice by leaving the winnings at the bar for a number of hours, after which it became unclaimed money and subject and an end-of-shift bonus. Ms Hammond then tried to divide the $24 with one of her co-workers, who apparently “felt uncomfortable” with taking the money and so refused her $12 share.
A little while later, Ms Hammond was dismissed from her job but after hearing the case David Appleton from the New Zealand’s Employment Relations Authority decided her boss had not taken time to investigate the reason for the misunderstanding.
Summing up the case, David Appleton said: “That..should have convinced a fair and reasonable employer not to have dismissed Ms Hammond, but rather to have instituted training for the staff if the approach Ms Hammond had learned from Ms X was viewed as wrong.”
Consequently, Ms Hammond was awarded $6,217 in lost wages from the Grosvenor Hotel and a received a further $7,500 for the humiliation she suffered.

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