of Rainey Collins
The cow was in such a distressed state that its leg became trapped and it required the attention of a veterinarian.
The Employment Relations Authority member stated that abuse of animals, particularly in a business where the income is earned by the management of animals, is very serious, and he could not imagine a more serious offence in a farming situation than that observed by the employer that particular day.
Physical abuse of this nature could be considered serious misconduct and an employee could be properly dismissed under the Employment Relations Act provided the employer followed carefully the proper process.
It is very important to follow the stages set out in the disciplinary process and you should not take any shortcuts, no matter how tempting they may seem at the time.
If you take shortcuts in the procedures then even if you would have been justified in taking disciplinary action against an employee you will be liable to the employee for breaches of the process.
That could include having to pay for lost wages, hurt and humiliation, plus legal costs and you may have to reinstate them to their position. It can be seen that following the proper process is very very important.