Pregnant Woman who Suffered Still Birth Awarded €72,000 for Unfair Dismissal

A pregnant woman who suffered the loss of her baby by still birth is awarded €72,000 for constructive dismissal due to unacceptable treatment at hands of her employer.

Claimant asked to compromise professional ethics-treated unacceptably in respect of pregnancy-employer unhappy that pregnancy would lead to maternity leave-increased her work load-would need to shorten her maternity leave-claimant received texts and emails while in hospital-bleed incident at hospital-claimant collected at hospital and ferried back to work-subjected to indecent comments after still birth-employer terminated part time work agreement after still birth-total disregard for claimant’s well being-speaker phone conversation-company intending to replace her-company director refused to discuss or engage-claimant leaves employment-Unfair Dismissals Act-awarded €72,000

For claimant: Neil Breheny & Co. Solicitors

For respondent: No appearance

Decision published: 15th November, 2012

Read full EAT determination here

Construction Worker’s Claim for Redundancy Fails-Refused Offer of Work

A laid off construction worker’s claim for redundancy fails as he fails to prove his position was made redundant and refuses to accept offer of work.

Construction company-Polish worker working in UK for Irish respondent-all employees placed on temporary lay off-family bereavement of directors of company-claimant requested p45 and “briefing”-company sent P45 and P60-company offered claimant work again-claimant said “no”, sore finger-company wrote to claimant for confirmation of not returning to work-job filled by another worker-claimant accepted company offered him work-did not know the nature of work but did not enquire either-claimant failed to make out case that his  position was made redundant-claim under Redundancy Payments Acts 1967 to 2007 fails as claimant refused to accept offer of work.

Decision published: 15th November, 2012

For claimant: In person

For rerspondent: Ms EJ Walsh BL instructed by James J Kelly & Son Solicitors

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Pub Worker Awarded €27,000 for Unfair Dismissal from Limerick Pub

A pub worker wins €27,000 for unfair dismissal from her job in pub with serious cash flow problem.

Pub worker-difficulty in trading-serious cash flow problem-claimant obvious choice at the time-had to cut the wage bill-did not go through procedures-claimant chosen because of “decent wage”-no thought of pay cut or part time work-bar manager’s partner hours increased-pub advertised for staff-claimant told this was a “mistake”-claimant would have been happy to work part time.

Date decision published: 15th November, 2012

For claimant: Michael O’Donnell, Rathkeale

For respondent: Michael Loftus, Loftus Maher & Co. Accountants, Raheen, Limerick

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Early Retirement Applicant Loses Unfair Dismissal Claim-Bullying and Lack of Training Alleged

A claimant who applied for and was granted early retirement loses her unfair dismissal claim as she fails to prove she was justified in resigning due to difficulties in work.

Clerical worker-dismissal in dispute-accepted early retirement-claimed to be dyslexia sufferer-alleged she was bullied and laughed at-requested training-was it reasonable for her to terminate employment?-claimed she accepted retirement due to conduct of employer-claimant felt undermined by failure to provide training-felt she had no option but to resign-claimant gave evidence of bullying-internal procedure-claim to the Labour Court-no bullying found-1995 letter very relevant if claimant resigned then-Tribunal not convinced dyslexia reported to employer-difficulties with pension entitlements and back pay resolved-did not justify resignation-claim must fail.

Date decision published: 9th November, 2012

For claimant: In person

For respondent: William Fry Solicitors

Read full decision of EAT here

Award of €1,231.44 for Breach of Terms of Employment (Information) Act Against Printing Company Upheld

A Rights Commissioner decision to award €1,231.44 against a printing company is upheld by Employment Appeals Tribunal.

Printing company-registered agreement for 40 years in printing industry-trade unions would not allow contracts of employment-custom and practice-staff handbook furnished to employee in 2010-staff now given contracts-trade unions do not accept them-employee claimed not given a copy of payroll form-company’s payroll sheet does not give place of work-company only has one location-employee confirmed he was given payslips-decision of Rights Commissioner to award €1,231.41 upheld.

Date of published decision: 8th November, 2012

For company: Mr. Noel O Hanrahan, O’Hanrahan Lally solicitors

For employee: Ms Grainne Duggan BL instructed by Ms Maureen Donohue, Anderson & Gallagher solicitors

Read full EAT decision here

General Operative Withdraws Appeal to Employer against Dismissal Awarded €18,000 for Unfair Dismissal

General operative, who withdrew his appeal to his employer against his dismissal for gross misconduct, is awarded €18000 for unfair dismissal due to procedural defects in the investigation process.

General operative-felt unwell-went home-dismissed for gross misconduct-refused to answer questions in investigation-claimant contacted union representative-appealed decision to dismiss-withdrew appeal on union representative advice-claimed for unfair dismissal-investigation carried out by employer-did not inform claimant-did not give opportunity to partake in investigation-employer failed to tell claimant of his right to representation-investigator also acted as disciplinarian-procedural defects in process-sufficiently flawed and invalid-withdrawal of appeal on advice of union official reasonable-€18,000 for unfair dismissal-€800 awarded under Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Acts.

Decision published 8th November, 2012

For claimant: Grainne Duggan BL instructed by Anderson & Gallagher solicitors

For respondent: Noel O’Hanrahan, O’Hanrahan Lally solicitors

Read full decision of Employment Appeals Tribunal here

Supermarket Sales Assistant’s Claim for Unfair Dismissal Dismissed for Failing to Engage with Employer

The EAT dismisses a claim for unfair dismissal by a supermarket sales assistant who had failed to engage with the employer and who effectively dismisses himself.

Sales assistant in supermarket-accident at work-sick leave-claimant failed to respond to letters-company tried to assist coming back to work-claimant went to UK for treatment-company failed to follow it’s own disciplinary procedure-not fatal as claimant did not respond to correspondence-claimant could not hold company accountable for failing to receive letters-claimant left messages with other employees-not sufficient-claimant should have written to personnel manager-Tribunal expects employer to behave reasonably-also expects employee to do likewise-employer acted as a reasonable employer-claimant frustrated his contract by failing to engage-claims under Unfair Dismissals Act and Minimum Notice and Terms of Employments Acts fail.

Decision published: 8th November, 2012

For claimant: Mr Oisin Clarke BL instructed by Ms Megan Shannon, Paul W Tracey solicitors

For respondent: Mr. David Farrell, IBEC

Read the full decision here

Receptionist in Budget Accommodation Provider Awarded €15,300 for Unfair Dismissal

Employment Appeals Tribunal awards €15,300 to receptionist for unfair dismissal following dispute leading to receptionist’s dismissal. EAT decides that procedural defects in the employer’s disciplinary process included failure to give the receptionist opportunity to engage in investigation, failure to hold a proper disciplinary hearing,  and failure to advise the claimant of her right to appeal dismissal.

Receptionist-budget accommodation provider-dispute over unpaid bill of guest-procedural defects in disciplinary procedure-failure to give receptionist opportunity to engage in investigation-failure to hold proper disciplinary meeting-employer not aware of a contract of employment-no disciplinary procedures in place-failure to tell claimant she had right to appeal-defects of sufficient consequence-dismissal unfair-steps taken to mitigate loss by receptionist were reasonable-behaviour of receptionist did not contribute to dismissal-Unfair Dismissals Act 1977 to 2007.

Decision published: 8th November, 2012

For claimant: Huges & Liddy Solicitors

For respondent: Conor Bowman BL instructed by McCartan & Burke Solicitors

Read full decision of EAT here.

Waitress Awarded €20,000 for Constructive Dismissal-Investigation Process Ineffective

EAT awards €20,000 under the Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977 to 2007 to waitress who thought she had no option but to leave her employment. Tribunal also finds that the investigation process ineffective.

Waitress-inappropriate touching by manager alleged-complaints and serious allegations-respondent acted quickly-found some of her allegations were substantiated-delay in issuing decision due to absence of waitress on sick leave-no detail of substance of investigation, the content or reasons for outcome communicated to waitress-appeal allowed to decision maker-appeal to decision maker not a valid appeal option-appeal to be sent to a third party not communicated to waitress-respondent made stringent efforts to keep waitress and manager apart-claimant never told she would have complete certainty that this would continue-investigation process flawed-no evidence of content of investigation-Tribunal does not believe “safe environment” to work in-efforts by employer to resolve issues-request from claimant’s union ignored-employer sought to engage directly with complainant-complainant had no choice but to leave-investigation process ineffective-Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment claim not addressed and dismissed-awarded €20,000 under Unfair Dismissals Acts.

Decision published: 30th October, 2012

Read full determination of EAT here.

Security Officer Awarded €48,000 for Unfair Dismissal for “Use of Force”

Employments Appeals Tribunal awards €48,000 under the Unfair Dismissals Acts, 1977 to 2007, for unfair dismissal on the basis of the completely disproportionate actions of the employer to the incident and the absence of basic fair procedures and a flawed investigation and disciplinary procedures. EAT also awarded €1,900 under the Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Acts.

Incident at The Square, Tallaght-use of “excessive force” alleged-basic fair procedures not adhered to-investigation and disciplinary procedures were flawed-respondent’s actions completely disproportionate to incident-no input by directors or senior management-no recall whether possible sanction was mentioned to claimant-15/20 minutes break between investigation meeting and disciplinary meeting-disciplinary meeting conducted by same person who conducted investigation meeting-“terminate” written on notes at end of investigation meeting-use of force basis of decision for dismissal-HR director accepted procedures were flawed-nevertheless upheld decision to dismiss-alternative sanctions not adequately considered-mitigating factors, including unblemished record, not sufficiently considered-at no stage did respondent communicate to the claimant that he may be disciplined.

For claimant: Siptu

For respondent: Tim O’Connell, Ibec

Decision published 30th October, 2012.

Read full determination of EAT.