Case Number: ADJ-00001889. Workplace Relations Commission

CourtWorkplace Relations Commission
Docket NumberADJ-00001889
Date31 July 2015
PartiesAn Employee V An Employer

In accordance with Section 41(4) of the Workplace Relations Act, 2015 and/or Section 8(1B) of the Unfair Dismissals Act, 1977, following the referral of the complaint(s)/dispute(s) to me by the Director General, I inquired into the complaint(s)/dispute(s) and gave the parties an opportunity to be heard by me and to present to me any evidence relevant to the complaint(s)/dispute(s).

The Complainant was asked to take a blood test for suspicion of attending work under the influence of alcohol on the 31st July 2015. The blood test was positive and the Complainant was immediately suspended from his work with pay pending a disciplinary hearing. The Complainant appeared at a disciplinary hearing on the 4th September and was advised he was being summarily dismissed on the 8th September 2015. The Complainant appealed the decision and following an appeal hearing heard by a Director on the 2nd of November he was informed by letter dated the 18th Novemberv2015 that his appeal failed and his dismissal was confirmed as and from November 3rd 2015 The grounds for the Complainant’s complaint are as follows: • The severity of the sanction • The negative impact on staff relations • Failure of the company to provide all relevant information prior to the disciplinary hearing of the 4th September • Presence and role of Operations Manager during testing • Failure of the Testing Company to adhere to testing protocols • Failure of the company to demonstrate effectively that the Complainant was aware of, understood and was instructed appropriately in the company’s policy on testing for alcohol and drugs • Failure of the Operations Manager to provide or investigate medical assistance when he identified an employee showed signs of disorientation. The Operations Manager abrogated his duty of care responsibilities to a disorientated employee. The decision to summarily dismiss the Complainant did not give due consideration to the following; • The lack of dignity and respect demonstrated during the testing procedure • The efforts of the employee over the past twelve months to improve his attendance and general work performance • The behavioural pattern associated with his illness • The severe economic impact on the member and his family • Alternative sanctions proposed • Negative impact on staff relations • Credit for past 25 years of service

Summary of Respondent’s Submission and Presentation:

The Complainant has been employed since 1988 in a major organisation in the Public...

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