A tile shop clerk whose boss told him, “I’m sure you have your wrongful dismissal case in mind… good luck with that,” has won his wrongful dismissal case.
Anthony Kennedy filed complaints against Total Tiles Ltd, trading as Italian Tile and Stone, under both the Unfair Dismissals Act and the Minimum Notice and Conditions of Employment Act.
In a submission to a hearing on the decision last November, the company said owner Luke Sweeney decided to close its stores on March 14, 2020 because of the pandemic, about two weeks before the government ordered all non-essential retailers to close.
It kept all employees on full salaries and required them to work from home.
On April 5, Mr Sweeney said he had sent all employees a “matters for consideration” document for the company in and out of lockdown, Mr Sweeney said.
Mr Kennedy wrote back the next day to say he would be back “as soon as possible” and wrote again the day after to say he was “having broadband issues” and was “unable to write anything”. to do”. Tasks assigned by the defendant,” said Mr. Sweeney.
A subsequent email exchange between the two men addressed “what employees should do when working from home” and “the need to maintain normal workplace discipline while working from home,” with specific reference to “the need to abide by rules regarding breaks,” Mr Sweeney said.
On April 30, Mr Sweeney wrote to his staff again, saying he understood his April 5 email was “not universally well received”.
“I’ve read and re-read it several times, and while perhaps not written in the most positive of tones, it conveyed exactly what I wanted to say at the time.
“We are fighting for our survival and the tone of the document reflects the seriousness of the situation,” he wrote.
He said he wanted the company to survive and increase its market share and that this would require “radical changes”.
On the same day he sent that email, Mr Kennedy claimed his mileage payment, which is normally paid for attending work at the company’s store in Swords, Co. Dublin, which was closed all month, Mr said Sweeney.
Mr Sweeney said that mileage requirement was “unimaginable” and told Mr Kennedy to “move on”.
Mr Kennedy accused his employer of giving him “a nudge in the door”.
“If you want me to leave the company, you should say so and fire me,” he told Mr Sweeney.
“If and when I want to fire you, I will. I’m sure you’ll have your wrongful dismissal case in mind when I do that – good luck with that,’ replied Mr Sweeney.
The following Tuesday, May 5, he told the complainant he had to “commit to the company’s plan” by the end of the day.
Mr Kennedy said he had a “severe migraine” and his boss’s emails were causing him stress, before urging a third party to handle business between them.
“I don’t want to be accused of making up stories or questioning my sanity again,” he wrote.
“Perhaps my question, are you crazy to expect mileage when you haven’t done any rides, is your idea I’m questioning your mental state.
“If so, I think that’s more your problem than mine,” his employer wrote back.
He informed the complainant that he was trying to “cherry pick” which parts of his job he wanted to do and that doing so amounted to “misconduct” – and that the matter was not being handled by a third party.
At 3:52 p.m. that day, Mr Sweeney wrote again to say that the 5 p.m. deadline had been “completely clarified”.
He told Mr. Kennedy that since he made “no commitment to support the company’s ideas” and claimed the mileage, he had “no choice but to terminate your employment.”
Mr. Sweeney said Mr. Kennedy was the first employee he had fired in his 20-year existence and that it was one of the “hardest decisions” he’s ever had to make.
Mr Kennedy said he was told on the afternoon of May 1, 2020 that “if he does not agree to the changes by close of business the next business day, his employment would be terminated”.
He said he was not given notice or severance pay and his usual weekly pay was withheld as of Friday.
He added that he did not want to end his employment.
In a decision released this morning, sentencing officer Jim Dolan found that “no procedure whatsoever was followed” in Mr Kennedy’s dismissal, noting that there had been no disciplinary hearing, no right of representation and no opportunity for appeal.
He upheld the wrongful dismissal complaint but said Mr Kennedy had not produced any evidence to suggest efforts were made to mitigate his loss.
As compensation for the abusive dismissal, he awarded a four-week severance payment of EUR 2,258.76
Mr. Dolan also found that Mr. Kennedy was due two weeks’ salary in lieu of termination and demanded that the company pay him an additional €1,129.
https://www.independent.ie/news/shop-worker-whose-boss-said-im-sure-you-have-unfair-dismissals-case-mapped-out-in-your-head-wins-unfair-dismissal-case-41554680.html A store clerk whose boss said, “I’m sure you have a wrongful dismissal case in mind,” wins the wrongful dismissal case