Domino's driver claims psychological injury after missing out on $15,000 employee-of-the-year award

A Domino's driver claims she should have won the competition for the second year in a row and took the matter to the FWC

Domino's driver claims psychological injury after missing out on $15,000 employee-of-the-year award
Lynette Hart, a Domino's delivery driver in Erina, NSW, claims she was 'psychologically injured' after losing the pizza-chain’s 2016 Delivery Driver of the Year competition.

Hart claimed she should have won the competition for the second year in a row and took the matter to the Fair Work Commission.

In 2015, Hart was awarded the Delivery Driver of the Year prize, having achieved the highest overall performance score of the 15,000 other drivers throughout Australia and New Zealand. Her prize was a brand new car.

She was determined to win the 2016 prize of $15,000 and believed she had a good chance of winning two years in a row.

Throughout the year, drivers can follow their progressive performance and rankings against other drivers.

However, in May 2016, Hart noticed her ranking on the leader board had slipped by around 100 places.

Consequently, she made a number of complaints to Head Office about her concerns that the GPS system was inaccurately displaying efficiency scores.

She claimed her complaints were ignored until it was too late to affect the 2016 results. As it turned out, the 2016 prize was awarded to another driver and he received the $15,000 cash prize.

The FWC acknowledged Hart was bitterly disappointed, notwithstanding she came in second and received a $1000 fuel voucher.

Hart believed not only that the GPS system inaccurately calculated efficiency scores, but also that the driver who won the award was not eligible to enter the competition because he was a cyclist and not a driver and he did not work the full year, but only commenced in May 2016.

Domino's expressly rejected Hart’s assertion that the GPS calculations were inaccurate. It referred to the multiple exchanges between Hart and the respondent from May 2016 to February 2017, during which various documents she had requested were provided.

Domino's conducted multiple internal reviews of the collected data, all of which confirmed that the data and calculations were accurate and consistently applied to all drivers.

Domino's also put that even if the applicant’s claims about error were correct, it would have made no difference to the outcomes because the methodology was consistently applied to all drivers.

In fact, the main reason why Hart did not win first prize, was not the GPS calculations, but the lower customer feedback scores she had achieved compared to the winner, claimed Domino's.

Fair Work deputy president Peter Sams said he accepts that Hart is bitterly disappointed at not winning first prize, and that she deeply resents both the process and the outcome.

“Her numerous and repetitive communications with Domino's is indicative of the level of her disappointment and profound sense of grievance, which I accept has had an effect on her psychological wellbeing,” he said.

The FWC dismissed Hart's application, finding that it did not have the jurisdiction to deal with the matter because it did not fall under her terms of employment.

Sams said to overturn the result of the competition and establish Hart as the winner of the 2016 driver of the year would have been a "bizarre and entirely inappropriate outcome".

Moreover, Hart lodged a workers' compensation claim, alleging she suffered from a psychological injury in a direct response to the circumstances leading to her failure to win first prize in the 2016 bonus competition.

The claim was rejected by the insurer on the basis the actions of her employer were reasonable, and the decision is under review.

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