A recruitment consultant who worked for former presidential candidate Peter Casey has been unfairly fired, the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) has found.
However, Michael O’Sullivan, who was employed by Claddagh Resources, Mr Casey’s recruitment company, was awarded just €250 in compensation after a WRC referee found he had contributed to his sacking.
In a decision to be released in the coming days, Judge Pat Brady said Mr. O’Sullivan’s employment was terminated by Mr. Casey “without even the slightest nod towards a fair trial.”
However, Mr Brady found that Mr Casey, a former judge on the television show Dragons’ Den, had been provoked into sacking Mr O’Sullivan after the recruiter sent an “unacceptably threatening” email to a work colleague who shortly thereafter left the company later.
Mr O’Sullivan, whose position was under pressure at the time due to his job performance, believed the woman spoke “negatively” about him. In the email, he falsely claimed he had received legal advice, that her alleged conduct was grounds for her dismissal and for him to sue her for defamation.
In correspondence, the company later said the woman never spoke negatively about him to management.
In his finding, Mr Brady said: “The complainant’s letter was totally unjustified and I am taking into account the circumstances of this regrettable behavior and its contribution to the dismissal in my awarding compensation.”
The judge added: “He made an outrageous and baseless threat against a colleague for which he produced no evidence, his purpose was to intimidate her, he lied that it was based on legal advice and it resulted in her termination their employment.”
Mr O’Sullivan worked at the recruitment firm, which is headquartered in Co Donegal, between April 2018 and March last year. He said he managed an account during his tenure and had a very good relationship with his senior manager. However, he was twice included in a “performance improvement program”, the second of which he felt contained unrealistic goals.
In November 2020, he was given 90 days to improve his performance or find another job.
However, he was not released until the following March.
He said the layoff had a major impact on his morale and self-esteem, and he was unemployed for six months afterwards.
The company denied that Mr O’Sullivan was unfairly fired and said his employment was terminated due to policy violations, misconduct and performance issues. It was alleged that he underperformed significantly and in particular failed to match job applicants with clients.
In one submission it argued that termination for performance reasons did not entail the requirement to apply principles of natural law.
But Mr. Brady noted that the decision to terminate Mr. O’Sullivan’s employment resulted directly from the email and not from performance issues.
He found the dismissal unfair but only awarded Mr O’Sullivan €250 given his contribution to it.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/ex-employee-of-presidential-hopeful-peter-casey-awarded-just-250-after-contributing-to-his-unfair-sacking-42137925.html The former staffer of presidential hopeful Peter Casey was paid just €250 after contributing to his unfair sacking