A Crown casino dealer sacked over an online music video he called “pornostar rap” has lost his unfair dismissal claim.
The Fair Work Commission found the worker failed to follow a number of reasonable and lawful directions.
Crown casino dealer mocked for rap video
Harkirat Singh worked at Crown as a part-time Table Games Dealer.
In his spare time, he also produces rap music videos using the name “Harry King”.
On the 13th of February 2018, Singh posted his latest release on a Facebook group normally used by employees to swap shifts.
Singh’s colleagues subsequently mocked him and the video.
One post beneath the video reprinted some of the song’s lyrics, followed by emojis depicting a prawn and a star.
This led to the aspiring hip-hop artist earning the nickname “Prawnstar” at work.
Teased during shift
Things then escalated during an evening shift on 2 November 2018.
Singh had been dealing at a baccarat table in the central casino pit area.
According to Singh, the two dealers on either side of him engaged him in conversation, during which one dropped the nickname “Prawnstar”.
The wanna-be rapper complained that the unkind comment left him “too stressed to deal”.
His line manger told him to take the rest of the evening off as a result. However, Singh declined and refused to leave the building.
During the exchange, he called his manager a “little girl in a suit” in addition to accusing her of “abusing her power.”
After refusing the first direction to take the rest of the shift off, Singh subsequently refused to obey another three directions to take a break and resume his duties on the casino floor.
As a result, Crown immediately suspended him and later sacked him.
Dealer claims victimisation
In an email to management, Singh wrote:
“Dealers are calling me Prawnstar without any fear and the management is taking action against me instead of handling my complaint. I have only become a joker in the company so far.
“Again the same thing happened, I raised an issue and I was the one who got suspended for 10 days for inappropriate workplace behaviour.”
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Commission finds dealer’s behaviour ‘baffling and unreasonable’
Deputy president Janine Young dismissed Singh’s unfair dismissal claim, finding it had not been “harsh, unjust, or unreasonable.”
“Mr Singh has not at any stage, including during the hearing, demonstrated any understanding that it is a fundamental obligation of an employee to comply with the lawful and reasonable directions of his employer.
“He has steadfastly held to the view that he has been victimised for making a complaint.
“I consider his behaviour on 2 November 2018 to be not only repudiatory, but also baffling and unreasonable.”
Industrial advocate Miles Heffernan said workers must comply with reasonable and lawful directions from their employer.
“Failing to obey a lawful and reasonable direction from your boss is considered serious misconduct under workplace laws,” he said.
“If you are told to do something lawful and reasonable – you must comply, or you will find yourself out of a job.”
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