Manager sprayed gel at colleague, tribunal hears
A FORMER Tesco manager who sprayed a gel-type lubricant at a colleague and took money from a till for taxi fares began an unfair dismissal case against the supermarket chain yesterday.
Adrian Brady (27), from Carrick Street, Kells, Co Meath, worked as a general assistant and duty manager for Tesco outlets in Drogheda, Co Louth, and Kilbarrack, north Dublin.
The Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) in Dublin yesterday heard that he had been dismissed in December 2009 after receiving more than two "final written warnings".
The tribunal heard that concerns were raised by his manager about whether he was "in the right frame of mind" to do his job.
Tesco store manager Declan Tyrell gave evidence at the first day of the hearing yesterday.
He agreed that Mr Brady, who has yet to put forward his case, was a good worker up until "a bit of trickery" in October 2008.
Mr Tyrell said that during a nightshift, Mr Brady took a €4 can of KY Jelly lubricant and sprayed it at a male colleague.
He said the incident was caught on CCTV and was "serious gross misconduct", enough to warrant a final written warning, though it was Mr Brady's first disciplinary matter.
At the time, Mr Brady was responsible for managing the night staff at the Drogheda branch of the supermarket.
Responding to EAT chairman Mark O'Connell, Mr Tyrell said the incident warranted a final warning, rather than a first one, because Mr Brady could have seriously injured the employee.
Counsel for Mr Brady said that his client did not dispute the incident, but would challenge the length of time that the warning should have stayed on his record.
In another incident eight months later, Mr Brady was given a second final written warning for telling a subordinate employee to give him €120 from the till for a taxi fair.
At the time, Mr Brady was working as a duty manager in Tesco Kilbarrack over the June bank holiday.
Mr Tyrell agreed that the shop was a distance from Mr Brady's home and that company policy allowed for employees to use taxis when no other transport was available.
He said that Mr Brady failed to account for the money from the till until a number of days later, when he provided taxi receipts. The tribunal was told that Mr Brady understood he was given permission to take the taxis.
Asked why Mr Brady was allowed to get away with two final warnings, Mr Tyrell said it was because he "believed in him".
Counsel for Mr Brady yesterday accused the supermarket of employing "dirty tricks" to slow up proceedings.
He claimed that he had not received documents of evidence that Tesco would present in good time.
The tribunal also heard that following the taxi incident there were "performance-related issues" with Mr Brady.
The case has been adjourned until January 17.