Hearing for university employee deferred

The hearing for a former University of Otago employee who claims the university withheld private information about her has been deferred until next year.

Psychiatrist Dr Lisa Turner was awarded $8717 in June after the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) ruled she had been unfairly dismissed from her position at the university's department of psychological medicine.

This week, a fresh claim that the university kept private information from Dr Turner before the employment dispute arose was heard by a tribunal panel.

Dr Turner claimed the department kept ''prejudicial'' information from her by having discussions about her role without her knowledge.

Some emails between staff were accidentally linked to Dr Turner, including one stating she was being ''intransigent'' in regards to departmental protocol, the parties heard.

Dr Turner said she felt sad and disappointed to learn the conversations had been taking place.

She had received the information slowly over a long period of time, one of her lawyers, Andrew Beck, said.

Confusion arose this week about the section of the Privacy Act Dr Turner's claims will be heard under.

The confusion forced the university to review the information it had based its case on, and it will now not be heard until at least March next year.

damian.george@odt.co.nz

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