A Wellington shuttle bus driver sacked for allegedly speeding like "Peter Brock at Bathurst" has been awarded almost $12,000 for unjustified dismissal.
Ismaaciil Dacar had been employed by Care Park to drive a shuttle bus between the Wellington Airport terminal and a long-term car park.
But the company dismissed him last July after a regular customer complained his service had been a "disgrace".
The complainant said Mr Dacar did not help customers with their baggage, drove in a 50-60km/h zone "like he was Peter Brock at Bathurst", and had no concern for customers as he spoke to another staff member in Somali for the whole trip.
Mr Dacar was suspended at the behest of the company's New Zealand manager, Tony May, without a chance to comment on his suspension.
Mr May did not carry out any further investigations or interview the other staff member who had been in the shuttle at the time.
At a meeting the following day, Mr May asked Mr Dacar at least three times if he had been speeding, to which he replied he "usually did not speed" and would get a ticket if he did.
The Employment Relations Authority noted there was "a great deal of confusion" over why Mr Dacar had been dismissed.
Care Park's lawyer later said he was dismissed because Mr May had preferred the customer's contention that Mr Dacar had been speeding to the driver's version of events.
Authority member Greg Wood found Mr Dacar had been unjustifiably suspended and dismissed.
Mr Dacar had given an equivocal response to the allegation of speeding - which if taken as a denial should have led to an investigation, and if taken as an admission should have led to a final warning and counselling.
The authority found no fair and reasonable employer would have dismissed Mr Dacar given the "completely different version of events available to Mr May".
Mr Dacar was awarded $6926.40 for three months' lost wages and $5000 compensation.