The former owners of a Bay of Plenty grocery store have been order to pay $17,000 dollars to a worker who was unfairly sacked.
In a ruling, the Employment Relations Authority said Stacey Sisson's bosses at the Nosh store in Mount Maunganui failed to properly investigate the customer complaints that they said were the reason she lost her job.
Ms Sissons was 19 at the time she was working at the store, in the deli, in 2016.
The Authority said the store received emailed complaints from customers about a person who was working in the deli serving food with no gloves on.
But there was no evidence that the complaints were properly investigated, or that Ms Sissons was given all the information and a chance to respond, it said.
Because of that, a reasonable employer could not come to the conclusion that Ms Sissons was to blame, the Authority said.
"As a result the employer's actions in terminating her employment, in the way it was done and for the supposed reasons it was done, were unjustified."
The company that owned the store, Good Food Trading, went into liquidation last month, but the authority has ruled that the company's owners are personally liable to pay the amount awarded, which covers reimbursement of lost wages, compensation for humiliation, loss of dignity and injury to feelings, and arrears of wages and holiday pay.