Thursday 27 April 2017

Fast food outlet manager 'who could have burned place down' over fryer mistake awarded €20k

The Workplace Relations Commission decided that the complainant had been unfairly dismissed (stock photo)
The Workplace Relations Commission decided that the complainant had been unfairly dismissed (stock photo)

Gordon Deegan

A manager of a fast food outlet "who could have burned the place down" by mistake after leaving a fryer on overnight has been awarded €20,000 for her unfair dismissal.

This follows the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) finding that the woman was denied natural justice when sacked by her boss.

In a submission to the WRC, the un-named ex-manager admitted that she left the fryer on. She said: "It was the first time that had ever happened to me on a shift."

The woman said that the un-named owner of the fast food franchised operation told her on the night that he sacked her last November that he didn't think she knew how serious it was as the place could have burned down.

She said: "I started laughing at him because on the last occasion I showed the owner the electrical equipment left on all night, he laughed and said it wouldn't be a bad thing if it burned down the place. I responded by saying 'God forgive you'."

After the owner said he was letting the woman go, she asked him to give a reason and he said he didn't have to give her one and that was the end of it.

The boss said the woman could finish out the week if she liked. However, she said: "I chose not to as I was stunned by such treatment."

The woman said that prior to her sacking, her boss had reduced her wage to €12 an hour. There was no appearance by any representatives of the company business at the hearing.

The woman explained that the restaurant was a franchise operation and that ownership of the franchise had changed in February 2015.

The hearing was told the woman's relationship with the present owner was difficult at times. In relation to the incident that led to the woman's sacking, she said that no damage had been caused to the fryer that had been left on overnight.

The WRC adjudication officer in the case, Joe Donnelly, stated: "Based on the uncontested evidence, I find that the complainant was unfairly dismissed by the respondent."

Irish Independent

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