Young Workers Legal Service

Case Studies

Termination of Employment

Alex is 17 years old. For 18 months he has worked for the same supermarket. It is part of a chain throughout SA. For the first year he worked consistent hours of approximately 15 hours a week. After completing school, his hours increased to approximately 25 hours a week. Alex was on sick leave just before he was terminated. The day he was sacked, he took a bottle of water from the fridge to alleviate the breathing problems he was experiencing as result of his asthma condition. He then returned to work and put the drink in his locker with the intention of paying for it once the queue for the register had subsided. Alex received a verbal warning from the Operations Manager and was told to go back to work. He then returned to work and injured his hand. The injury was reported to the Operations Manager. Within moments of the Manager becoming aware of the injury the applicant was called into the Manager’s office and sacked on the spot. The alleged reason was Alex’s “non-compliance with company policy”.