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Accountant loses out on €37,500 dismissal award

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Appeal: The case was heard at the Labour Court

Appeal: The case was heard at the Labour Court

Appeal: The case was heard at the Labour Court

A female accountant who told a male colleague in an email "sometimes I think you are pure evil" will no longer receive a €37,500 unfair dismissal award made to her last year.

The Labour Court has now decided to cancel the €37,500 award made by the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) to Andrea Kiss.

The initial ruling by the WRC was that Ms Kiss had been unfairly treated and it found that her dismissal had been disproportionate to the finding that her email to a male colleague had been "very inappropriate".

However, following an appeal by Ms Kiss's former employer, global logistics company United Parcel Service CSTC Ireland Ltd, against the award and the WRC finding, the Labour Court has found that Ms Kiss was not unfairly dismissed and overturned the award.

Ms Kiss - who worked at the company's Citywest offices in Dublin - was sacked for gross misconduct after UPS Ireland found her actions were tantamount to bullying. UPS Ireland deemed Ms Kiss's actions constituted bullying after finding that the content of lengthy emails to two male colleagues was "highly offensive, inappropriate and unacceptable".

The Labour Court found that Ms Kiss's final emails to the two male colleagues "were clearly highly objectionable in content".

The court stated that throughout, UPS Ireland "displayed levels of leniency and patience in what were very sensitive and difficult matters".

The Labour Court found that "it is clear that the dismissal was essentially a last-straw and reluctant action within a very unfortunate set of events and circumstances".

On behalf of UPS Ireland, Conor O'Gorman of IBEC told the Labour Court that the dismissal resulted wholly from Ms Kiss's own conduct.

Mr O'Gorman stated that it was clear Ms Kiss had feelings for a Mr X and was unsure if he felt the same.

She explained how she approached Mr X in June 2016 and Mr X responded by saying he had a girlfriend.

Mr O'Gorman stated that the language used by Ms Kiss in her subsequent emails to Mr X was highly inappropriate and so extreme that no employee, under any circumstances, should be expected to tolerate it.

Mr O'Gorman stated that Ms Kiss said to Mr X "sometimes I think you are pure evil".

In response, Ms Kiss told the court that her dismissal "was entirely disproportionate and unfair".

Irish Independent