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WRC Finding of Unfair Dismissal – Employer Unable to Demonstrate that Fair Procedures were Followed

posted 7 months ago

Kenneth Malone v Cerlock Ltd ADJ-00041931 concerned three complaints to the Workplace Relations Commission (the “WRC”) under the Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977-2015, the Organisation of Working Time Act 1997, and the Terms of Employment (Information) Acts 1994-2014. The Complainant alleged that he was unfairly dismissed, that he had never been provided with a written statement of his terms of employment, and that he did not receive proper breaks.

Facts: The Complainant was employed by the Respondent as a barman for seven years. The Complainant described being approached on 18th July 2022 by Ms. Lee-Anne Graham, the owner of the Respondent, who implied that he was “on the drink”. He told the WRC that she informed him that she had video footage of him carrying empty cans out of a cold store and then terminated his employment and asked him to leave the premises.

However, the Respondent argued that the Complainant’s employment was not terminated on 18th July, but that the Complainant was merely suspended pending a disciplinary meeting. The Complainant stated that he was notified of the disciplinary meeting by text, sought legal advice and was told not to attend the meeting on the basis that his employment had already been terminated.

According to the Respondent, after the Complainant did not attend the “disciplinary” meeting, the Respondent issued a dismissal letter on 28th July, terminating his employment due to gross misconduct. The Complainant denied ever seeing this dismissal letter. The dismissal letter also stated that the Complainant was prohibited from going onto the Respondent’s premises because of threatening and criminal behaviour which the Gardai were investigating.

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