independent

Monday 21 April 2014

Pregnant bar worker unfairly dismissed from Dublin’s POD venue awarded €40,000

A MOTHER-OF-ONE who was unfairly dismissed from her job by John Reynolds’ POD Entertainment Ltd has been awarded €40,000 compensation.

Gabriella Varga (22) had been awarded €8,000 compensation in the Employment Appeals Tribunal and was appealing against the size of the award, barrister Darach MacNamara told the Circuit Civil Court.



He told Judge Matthew Deery that Ms Varga, of Liffey Valley Park, Lucan, Co Dublin, had an immaculate employment history as a bar person with the Harcourt Street-based entertainment company but things had started to go down hill after she announced in 2009 that she was pregnant.



Mr MacNamara said she had been told on a number of occasions that she would be better off giving up her job because “the physical labour involved would not be suitable for a pregnant woman.”



He said she had eventually been accused of gross misconduct, including taking money from the till, and dismissed completely unfairly. She had a full defence to the allegations and records had been available to the company, which if checked, would have clearly exonerated her.



Mr MacNamara said that since the determination of unfair dismissal had been obtained against POD Entertainment Ltd., the company had in April last year gone into receivership and in October last had gone into voluntary liquidation. The liquidator was not contesting the appeal.



Ms Varga told Judge Deery she had her baby in May 2009 and had started seeking new employment in December of that year. She had applied for everything and anything but had been unable even to get an interview since.



Mr MacNamara said the court had jurisdiction to award Ms Varga 104 weeks net pay to a maximum of €44,000. In her case her nett loss of pay amounted to €51,000.



Judge Deery, awarding her €40,000 compensation against the liquidator, said she had made every effort to obtain alternative employment and had now been accepted for a college training course.



POD Entertainment Ltd, which was placed in receivership by AIB in April 2012 on foot of debts of €330,000, and into liquidation six months later, was the trading business behind POD, Tripod and Crawdaddy music venues in Dublin.



Mr Reynolds, who has been in the concert promotions business for many years, was a director of POD Entertainment Ltd. and is currently involved in the Market Bar and the Button Factory, neither of which have been affected by the receivership and liquidation of POD Entertainment Ltd.

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