Kruzeviciute v Blarney Filling Station Ltd

 
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EMPLOYMENT APPEALS TRIBUNAL

CASE NO. UD1646/2013

MN773/2013

CLAIM(S) OF:
Laura Kruzeviciute
and
Blarney Filling Station Limited
1

This case involves claims submitted to the Tribunal by the Claimant under Unfair Dismissal and Minimum Notice Legislation arising out of the loss of her employment with the Respondent Company. The Respondent Company operates a shop/filling station at Blarney, Co. Cork. At the relevant time the Respondent Company had 22 employees and the Claimant had been employed as a supervisor. The Claimants employment with the Respondent had commenced in September 2007 and had ended in November 2013. The Claimant had worked 25 hours per week for €10.50 per hour.

2

The Claimant's case was that she felt obliged to submit her resignation from her position in November 2013 owing to the alleged bullying of the Respondent. The Respondent denied bullying and his case was that the Claimant was dismissed for the unauthorised taking of product, namely chocolate bars from the company premises. The Respondent also alleged insubordination on the part of the Claimant in failing to attend three disciplinary hearings. The Claimant's case was that she did not take the chocolate bars.

3

The Respondents case was that these events, coupled with the Claimants previous disciplinary record led to her dismissal. The case was initially heard on the 24th of February 2014 when a significant proportion of time was spent on the admission or otherwise of documents which were to form part of the Respondent's defence. The resumed hearing was fixed for two days to commence on the 21st of July 2015.

4

Giving sworn testimony for the Respondent, a witness (hereafter referred to as MB) said that he had started working with the Respondent Company in June 2011. He had been employed in the position of assistant manager. The business comprised of a petrol station and shop. Some twenty-two people worked in the business. MB said that he had seventeen years experience in retail. He is now working elsewhere. During his time with the Respondent Company the Claimant had been employed as a senior supervisor. He stated that there had been a history of incidents involving the Claimant and warnings had been given in line with procedures.

5

It was at this point, that the Claimant's representative objected to documents being submitted to the Tribunal if there was no witness present to corroborate them. It was stated that an independent party (hereafter referred to as DH) had been brought in by the Respondent to assist with the resolution of issues between it and the Claimant. DH was not present at the Tribunal hearing. It was suggested that he might be subpoenaed to the resumed hearing when the date thereof became known. A number of pages from the Respondent's booklet were removed given the concerns of the Claimant's representative as to the non attendance of a material witness. It was argued that findings as to the Claimant's conduct had been upheld in favour of the respondent. The Claimant's representative said that DH's findings were being put into evidence and that he (the Claimant's representative) was reserving his position. He argued that DH's findings had to be corroborated.

6

The Respondent's legal representative told the Tribunal that the Respondent's owner had been the decision-maker in relation to issues of a disciplinary nature. Accordingly, any appeal in relation to a disciplinary issue had to be dealt with by somebody outside the Respondent Company. In this occasion DH was selected. His decision would be final and there was no appeal beyond the...

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