Two workers fired from Fonterra's Takanini plant in New Zealand for doing the Harlem Shake dance have successfully appealed the company's decision.
Henry Taufua and Craig Flynn were fired after a video showing the men performing the dance was discovered by the dairy company, which stated that Taufua had "rode a paper trolley or pallet jack in an unsafe manner endangering himself and others and failed to report unsafe acts by other employees", while Flynn had put himself and others at risk by organising the videos, "dancing with a shovel between his legs, hosing water where another employee was dancing and splashing a pallet."
According to The NZ Herald, the workers successfully appealed the decision to the Employment Relations Authority (ERA), with the video [below] disproving Fonterra's grounds for dismissal.
"Their individual actions do not seem factually similar to the facts alleged in the respondent's[Fonterra's] authorities. Hosing an area of floor then cleaning the water up prior to employees dancing around indicates preventative steps to ensure employee safety. Falling or tipping the paper trolley may have resulted in minimal (if any) injury or damage or none at all," the ERA stated.
"Neither of the applicants conduct necessarily had the potential for the serious injury contemplated in the respondent's authorities."
The ERA ordered the men's temporary reinstatement to their jobs until a substantive hearing.
Two NZ Fonterra workers have won their jobs back. Image: Flickr