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Employee Throws Stapler at their Manager…Still Receives €25,000

In a case that brilliantly illustrates the need for fair procedures, and basic employment documentation in any employment relationship, an employee was awarded €25,000 following dismissal for a series of allegations, one of which was employee throws stapler at their manager.

Employee Throws Stapler at their Manager…Still Receives €25,000

The case (UD211/2011) concerns a Pharmaceutical chain where an employee was a Counter Assistant and was dismissed following a disciplinary hearing where it was alleged she;

  • threw a stapler at her manager
  • threw her coat at a pregnant member of staff (the staff member stumbled and was caught by her manager before an accident could have occurred)
  • aggressively pushed a chair down on the floor
  • placed an order before going on holidays, despite being specifically asked not to
  • refused to change an incorrectly priced item of stock
  • using foul language, stamping her feet, grunting and refusing to serve members of the public

The Company outlined that no records of complaints were kept and that the disciplinary hearing took place but no notice was given and they were not advised as to the seriousness of the meeting. There are discussions over the incidents in so far as she accepts that she used bad language but not towards customers, and she tossed the stapler to her manager.

The Tribunal found that on the basis of no fair procedures in the dismissal of the employee (no notice of the hearing, no right to representation and no notification of the seriousness of the meeting), and no contract of employment or Grievance procedures, fair procedures were not followed in carrying out this dismissal, which ensured an unfair dismissal, and made the award of €25,000. The Tribunal did note the employee contributed to this, and one would wonder what they would have awarded had she not.

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