Christchurch Bar justified in firing service manager, ERA says

A Christchurch bar was justified in firing a service manager accused of serving alcohol to an intoxicated customer and failing to discharge an intoxicated customer in a proper manner, the City Relations Authority has ruled. work.

Richard Dear, owner of the Wave Bar in New Brighton, dismissed Samuel Day in October 2020. Day started working at the sports bar around 2012 as security and eventually became a qualified service manager in March 2020.

When a regular customer referred to as “M” in the authority’s ruling walked into the bar on September 25, 2020, Day was told by a colleague that she was intoxicated. Day decided she was not drunk and was served two handfuls of beer within 45 minutes, followed by a medium-strength beer.

In the second incident, on Oct. 3, 2020, a patron named “W” entered the bar in a “clearly inebriated state,” said authority member Antoinette Baker.

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W was known for his drunken behavior and a violent reaction when he was previously removed from the bar, she said.

Day and a bartender refused to serve him alcohol. Day decided to try sobering W up with water and food, and putting him in a cab rather than having him out of the bar right away.

This was to avoid a repeat of a previous occasion when, after Day removed the man from the bar and locked the door, he “made pistol gestures through the glass front of Mr. Day’s premises, s ‘exposed and urinated’ before assaulting another customer.

A licensee or manager can be fined up to $10,000 if found guilty of supplying alcohol to an intoxicated person.


A licensee or manager can be fined up to $10,000 if found guilty of supplying alcohol to an intoxicated person.

About 20 minutes after entering the bar on October 3, Day persuaded the man to leave, but then twice prevented him, including giving him a headlock, from coming back inside. Day stayed outside with him until a cab arrived.

A person who is intoxicated may be taken to a ‘place of safety’ on the premises or removed, in accordance with the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act.

A safe place was described as alcohol-free, away from the bar, away from friends and other drinkers, and where staff could keep tabs on the person.

However, after Day provided water and the man ordered hot fries, W left for the pokies area and then sat alone with other people drinking nearby and a jug of beer on a table at some point. He also interacted with other customers.

If convicted of allowing an intoxicated person to stay in a licensed establishment, a licensee or manager can be fined up to $5,000.

A licensee or manager can be fined up to $10,000 if found guilty of supplying alcohol to an intoxicated person. The liquor license can be suspended for up to seven days.

Cher questioned Day about both incidents and held a disciplinary meeting before firing him.

On November 17, Day raised a personal grievance through his representative, claiming he had been wrongfully terminated.

In its ruling released Aug. 23, Baker said the authority must assess whether an employer decided to terminate someone based on “what a fair and reasonable employer could have done in all the circumstances.”

Day said he did nothing wrong. He said that in the first case, Last Wave was not justified in concluding that M was intoxicated when he served her alcohol.

Baker said Day was an “unreliable witness.”

A few days earlier there had been a police meeting with bar staff and management, including Day, about not serving intoxicated people.

“[Last Wave] was facing what could reasonably be considered a ‘on notice’ warning from the police about previous incidents at the premises. Mr. Day was aware of this,” she said.

In the second case, Day said he fulfilled his obligations as a duty manager by getting the man to safety before firing him. The last wave disagreed.

“I accept [Last Wave’s] allegation that Mr. Day’s interpretation of his [duty manager] her obligations focused primarily on her concern for W’s welfare rather than the legislative requirements for strict options for removing an intoxicated person from licensed premises,” she said.

She concluded that the company was justified in firing Day for both incidents and charges reserved.

day said Things he intended to challenge the labor court’s decision and was “shocked” by the decision.

Dear’s lawyer, Anna Oberndorfer, said it was a good decision that took into account all factors, including the size of the company, which affected the closeness of the relationship within it.

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