Security Officer Denied Taking Money from Shopping Centre Pay Stations-Wins €46,800 for Unfair Dismissal

A security officer in a shopping centre, who denies misappropriating money from shopping centre pay stations, wins his case for unfair dismissal and is awarded €46,800.

Claimant was security officer employed by property management company-manager carried out investigation into alleged misappropriation of funds-manager satisfied that findings merited referral onwards for possible disciplinary action-referred case to company director-claimant categorically denied taking money-respondent in liquidation and failed to appear-Tribunal not satisfied claimant misappropriated money-respondent did not prove dismissal was fair-uncontested evidence of claimant-unfair dismissal claim succeeds-awarded €46,800 and four weeks’ pay under Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Acts.

For claimant: Elaine Morgan BL instructed by David Burke & Co solicitors

For respondent: Derek Dunne BL instructed by McCullagh Higgins & Co. Solicitors on 9th July 2012

(No appearance by or on behalf of respondent on 15th November, 2012)

Decision published: 12th April, 2013

Read Full Decision Here

Unfair Selection for Redundancy Claim Fails-€10,000 Ex Gratia Payment Offer Rejected

The claimant, an administrative training and development co-ordinator, fails in her claim for unfair dismissal as a result of her redundancy.

Employer, large multi-national engineering company-claimant responsible for administrative training and development co-ordinator role lending support to apprentice electricians employed by the company-organised internal executive courses in leadership management and skills enhancement-downturn in construction industry-large number of redundancies-claimant made redundant-company then advertised for 2 corporate human resource positions-company claimed claimant did not have necessary experience or requirements-paid her statutory redundancy and one month’s notice-also offered €10,000 ex-gratia payment-claimant declined to accept-claimant got massive shock at meeting advising she was to be made redundant-became emotional and did not speak at meeting-not allowed to retrain or accept another role-needed time to think about €10,000 offer-required to sign a waiver form-EAT had enormous sympathy for claimant-excellent worker-however, genuine company restructuring-genuine redundancy-no unfair selection for redundancy-respectful response by company to cross examination during EAT hearing-claimant traumatised by redundancy-may have affected her decision to accept ex gratia payment-claim under unfair dismissals acts fails-received her statutory redundancy entitlement-received her notice of termination-minimum notice and terms of employment acts claim fails also.

For claimant: Elaine Power BL, instructed by McMahon English solicitors

For respondent: Brian Gageby BL, instructed by William Fry solicitors

Decision published: 12th April, 2013

Read Full EAT decision here

FAS Community Employment Employee Wins Unfair Dismissal Case and is Reinstated

A FAS community employment scheme worker wins her unfair dismissal case where her fixed term contract was not renewed.

Employee with Council as part of FAS Community Employment Scheme-fixed term contracts-2 fixed term contracts-scheme ended-11 people had their contract renewed-claimant’s contract not renewed-dismissed on recommendation of line manager-EAT finds unfair dismissal-two further years’ work available-not offered to claimant-no reason given-claimant did not seek reason on dismissal-Tribunal directs reinstatement for the remaining two years.

For Claimant: In person

For Respondent: In person

Date of Decision: 10th April, 2013

Read Full Decision Here

Secondary School Secretary Awarded €9,850 for Unfair Dismissal

A secondary school secretary is awarded €9,850 for unfair dismissal due to the employer’s “highly questionable” investigation into allegations.

Secondary school employer-claimant was full time secretary-number of versions of employment contract-claimant’s role to record and lodge school income-school’s power supply disconnected due to unpaid bills-unpaid newspaper-Principal became concerned about unpaid bills and stale cheques-issued warning to secretary-claimant granted leave of absence by Chairperson of Board of Management-claimant went to Australia-audit uncovered “unexplained and unaccountable absence of money” from school accounts-Principal wrote to secretary about “considerable discrepancies to accounts”-secretary invited to attend meeting-suspended secretary on full pay-secretary’s mother phoned principal-meeting attended by secretary, principal, accountant & others-disciplinary procedures invoked against secretary-another meeting requested-claimant denied stealing money from school-claimant had no access to office records to challenge allegations-EAT found unfair dismissal-accepted that there was discrepancies in school monies-audit found shortfall of €12,000 in school monies-legitimate questions to be asked-school not entitled to single out secretary-other people had access to the monies-accounting measures adopted by all members of staff ‘very slack’-was dismissal ‘reasonable’?-quality and extent of school’s investigation ‘highly questionable’-secretary had some responsibility-respondent failed to engage with process-enquiry flawed however-decision to dismiss not reasonable given it was based on flawed enquiry-€9,850 awarded to claimant for unfair dismissal.

For Claimant: Vernon Hegarty, SIPTU

For Respondent: Anne Hickey, Solicitor, Wine Street, Sligo

Date of Decision: 9th April, 2013

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Child Care Worker Dismissed for “Gross Misconduct” Awarded €19,000 for Unfair Dismissal

A child care worker who was dismissed for gross misconduct was awarded €19,000 because of “lack of proportionality” and “procedural unfairness”.

Child care worker in creche-dismissed for “gross misconduct”-failed to observe incident involving bullying-2 older boys-sock in mouth-father wanted investigation-claimant might have been on a break-did not see incident-dismissed with immediate effect-boy’s father put pressure on manager-claimant was on a break for 15 minutes-creche procedures not followed-child put at risk unnecessarily-manager did not inform claimant that meeting was disciplinary-dismissed for bringing crèche into disrepute-claimant not advised of right to appeal-manager over-ruled company disciplinary policy-child’s life had been in danger-claimant shocked to hear what happened-did not realize her job was in jeopardy-had not worked since dismissal-dismissal procedurally unfair-lacked proportionality-awarded €19,000 for unfair dismissal.

Date of decision: 21st November, 2012

For claimant: Eugene Hill BL instructed by Mercy Law Resource Centre

For Respondent: Donna Reilly BL instructed by Vivienne Matthews BL Das Group

Read full decision here

Construction Worker’s Claim of Unfair Selection for Redundancy Fails

A construction worker who claimed he was unfairly selected for redundancy and/or it was not a genuine redundancy situation, fails in his claim for unfair dismissal.

Long service since 1998-placed on 3 day week-told of redundancy-no appeal-requested copy of selection process-never received it-redundancy process should be last in first out-accepted sum of €5,000 plus statutory redundancy-earned €80,000 per year-claimant’s case that he was not redundant-or unfairly selected for redundancy-EAT finds redundancy fair-for unfair selection to apply there must be workers in similar employment-no recognised procedure with trade union in this case-last in, first out did not apply according to employer-no finding of unfair selection-genuine redundancy under Redundancy Payments Acts 1967 as amended-unfair dismissal claim fails.

For claimant: Pauline Codd BL and Clare Bruton instructed by Aileen Fleming, Daniel Spring & Co. Solicitors

For respondent: Conor O’Connell, Construction Indurstry Federation, Cork

Decision published: 15th November, 2012

Read full EAT determination here

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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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.