Monday 22 January 2018

A cash van driver dismissed for 'inappropriate behaviour' has dismissal award reduced


Saurya Cherfi

A cash-van driver, who had been dismissed for inappropriate behaviour including “peeing behind his van,” saw his award for unfair dismissal reduced by a judge today.

Judge Jacqueline Linnane heard that Grzegorz Zwolinski had been awarded €7,500 by the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) for unfair dismissal, but he had appealed to the Circuit Civil Court for that award to be increased.

The court had heard that Zwolinski, with an address at Hamilton Avenue, Castlelands, Ballbriggan, North County Dublin, had been working for G4S Cash Solutions Ireland Ltd from March 2007 as a cash-in- transit operator until he was dismissed in September 2012.

Mary-Paula Guinness, for the company, said an investigation was initiated in July 2012 following a list of complaints regarding Zwolinski’s conduct and behaviour.

The complaints included an inappropriate message allegedly left on a colleague’s voicemail, allegedly smoking in a prohibited area where oil tanks were being kept, alleged failure to complete a service, and a complaint made by a member of the public about alleged reckless driving on the M50.

Ms Guinness said when asked about "peeing" behind his van in the rear compound, although toilets were seconds away, Zwolinski had answered: “You need to fulfil a need. You don’t pee in your pants.”

Following a disciplinary meeting a month later, in August 2012, Zwolinski, who had received a warning letter in February that year, was dismissed.

He had appealed the decision to the EAT, which last December had found he had been unfairly dismissed by his employer, with an address at Bracken Road, Sandyford Industrial Estate, Dublin, and, taking his behaviour into consideration, had awarded him €7,500.

Ms Guinness said that although the company was not appealing the tribunal finding, no compensation should be awarded to Zwolinski because of his “general bad attitude.”

Judge Linnane said she found Mr Zwolinski’s credibility was an issue. She reduced his award to €5,000 and awarded legal costs against him.

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