SkyCity told to payout in wrongful dismissal case

SkyCity has been ordered to pay NZ $25 000 (US$18,250) to an employee it wrongfully dismissed in a row over the treatment of a high roller.

Keith Hayashi was shift manager at SkyCity’s Auckland casino and misunderstood instructions about how to handle a high roller’s betting limits. The high roller, identified only as Mrs A, had lost between $9.5 million and $12 million ($6.9 million to $8.8 million at the casino.

He offered her a $300 000 refund she was not entitled to.

Mrs A also claimed compensation that under a strict interpretation of the gaming rules she was not entitled to. The case was settled by the casino making an ex gratia payment to her. This led in turn to Mr Hayashi’s dismissal.  The court found that the chief executive of SkyCity had received incorrect information about the incident which wrongly blamed Mr Hayashi.

The Employment Court said that in the circumstances the dismissal process was flawed and there was no valid reason to dismiss him. It called the dismissal “unjust, unfair and unreasonable.”

The court ordered Mr Hayashi’s reinstatement, his lost wages to be paid and granted him $25 000 in compensation for hurt and humiliation.