Here’s a rather strange sexual harassment decision which we do not have any reasonable explanation for.  

The New Zealand Herald reports that “A young woman whose bottom was slapped in ‘fun’ by her boss has now been ordered to pay her former employer $5000 in costs in the case.”

What’s this?

It seems that the NZ Employment Relations Authority had before it the case of a female  employee who resigned after her former boss allegedly slapped her rear end.   

Authority member Anna Fitzgibbon apparently found that plaintiff was unreliable as a witness but nonetheless also found that there indeed was such a slap which was “inappropriate and should not be repeated,” but also that it was all part of a joke.


slap : businesswoman hitting a man with a boxing glove Stock Photo

Being “Cheeky?”

Said Authority member Anna Fitzgibbon:  “Ms Newman was being cheeky about Mr Sanson’s floppy hat and he slapped her on the bottom.  It was a one-off slap, which I accept was a ‘fun slap’.”

A “one-off slap?”  A “fun slap?”  Huh?


Not only was plaintiff tossed out, but she was also ordered to pay $5,000 costs to her former employer.


We have absolutely no idea what to say about this bizarre case — maybe:

Don’t be cheeky with the boss?

Don’t sue over a “one-off slap” or a “fun slap?”

Don’t work in New Zealand?