Aggressive and intimidating: Salvos worker sacked

Analysis

Aggressive and intimidating: Salvos worker sacked

A Salvation Army employee who displayed ongoing aggressive and intimidating behaviour was not unfairly dismissed, the Fair Work Commission has ruled.

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A Salvation Army employee who displayed ongoing aggressive and intimidating behaviour was not unfairly dismissed, the Fair Work Commission has ruled.

He had been previously warned about his bullying behaviour and had failed to comply with a reasonable direction to not contact his manager.

Background


Mauricio Nakasone was employed as a grounds keeper at a Salvation Army conference and recreation in May 2010.

At the time of his dismissal in November 2016, he was an assistant to the director of operations, Carlos Lopes.

The reasons for his dismissal essentially involved three incidents.

The first occured in March 2016 and Mr Nakasone was subsequently given a formal warning for:
  • yelling at and slamming a bathroom door on a colleague
  • ignoring and alienating that colleague over a three-year period.
Mr Nakasone told the Commission he signed the warning letter and acknowledgement simply because he wanted to put the event behind him and move on.

Second incident


In October, Mr Nakasone approached Mr Lopes and another employee to ask if they needed assistance setting up a room.

Mr Lopes claimed Mr Nakasone became confrontational and argumentative during the exchange and that his tone and body language were "aggressive". He said the other employee present appeared "shocked and embarassed" by the incident.

He filed a complaint with HR and Mr Nakasone was advised not to contact Mr Lopes until an investigation was completed.

Failed to heed direction


The Commission heard Mr Nakasone ignored this directive and contacted Mr Lopes on several occasions to request the return of a paddleboard he had loaned him.

During one exchange Mr Nakasone told his manager: "You are weak, you are not a man of your word, you have a plan B; I will make you drop your mask; I am a man of honour and you are not."

On 11 November Mr Nakasone was dismissed.

Ruling


Throughout proceedings Mr Nakasone asserted he had been treated unfairly.

However, Deputy President Sams found much of Mr Nakasone's evidence "was an attempt to reconstruct events and circumstances he had previously accepted as the factual position.

"For these reasons I am not satisfied the applicant was a witness of credit... I am satisfied the serious misconduct alleged against the applicant has been proven".

He also found there had been an appropriate investigation and Mr Nakasone had been afforded procedural fairness.

The application for unfair dismissal remedy was dismissed. 

Mauricio Nakasone v Salvation Army 2017] FWC 2182
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