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Labour Court Upholds WRC Finding that Dismissal of Aer Lingus Customer Services Agent for Gross Misconduct was Fair

posted 1 week ago

The Labour Court in Aer Lingus Limited v Virginia Linehan (UDD2418) has upheld the Workplace Relations Commission (“WRC”) decision in ADJ-00034556 (CA-00045554-001) that the dismissal of Ms Linehan (hereinafter the “Complainant”) for gross misconduct was fair. The Complainant had appealed the WRC decision to the Labour Court (the “Court”) under the Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977-2015.

Facts: The Complainant was employed as a Customer Services Agent with the Respondent from 13th July 2009 until she was dismissed by the Respondent on 13th May 2021. The Complainant claimed that her dismissal was unfair. This was rejected by the Respondent on behalf of which it was argued that the Complainant was fairly dismissed for gross misconduct following an incident which occurred on 31st July 2019.

The incident involved the Complainant being verbally abusive to colleagues, calling a number of them “bitches” and “bullies”. It was submitted on behalf of the Respondent that the Complainant was aggressive and swinging her arms, resulting in other employees being concerned about the health and safety of staff. It was the Respondent’s position that the Complainant’s behaviour undermined the Respondent’s trust and confidence in her, which trust and confidence was extremely important in a public facing role. The Respondent followed a detailed internal investigation, disciplinary process and appeal, and the Complainant was represented by her Union throughout.

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