Sunday 18 March 2018

Court dismisses An Post sorter's claims she was subjected to campaign of bullying and harassment in sorting centre

Joanne Rundle
Joanne Rundle

THE High Court has dismissed a mail sorter's claims she was subjected to a campaign of bullying and harassment in a Dublin sorting centre, the High Court heard.

Joanne Rundle (38), Shanliss Avenue, Santry, Dublin, sued An Post over what she claims was bullying between 2005 and 2006 at the Dublin Mails Centre (DMC) in Clondalkin, Dublin.

She claimed she was subjected to a "relentless campaign of mean and spiteful behaviour" causing her severe anxiety which left her out of work for lengthy periods and left her "terrified" about returning to the DMC.

An Post denied her claims.

She is currently working with An Post, in the GPO in Dublin.

High Court President Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns, in his judgment yesterday, said based on the evidence before the court he could not make a finding that Ms Rundle was bullied in her workplace, and therefore dismissed the claim.

He found accounts given during the course of the hearing on behalf of witnesses for An Post of alleged bullying to be "more credible" than those on behalf of Ms Rundle.

The judge also noted An Post had made considerable efforts to address Ms Rundle's health problems by moving her from the DMC to a position at its Dublin Airport Mail Centre, which was seen as a good place to work.   

He said Ms Rundle claims she had been working for nearly five years as a post sorter at the DMC when in mid-2005 she was subjected to bullying after she made a complaint to her trade union representative.

Between 2005 and March 2006, she claimed she was treated differently from her colleagues.

The alleged bullying included persistent and deliberate staring, pestering, humiliation on front of colleagues, aggressive behaviour, verbal abuse and attempts to undermine her role.

She had claimed she was under constant supervision, including being told she could not leave her work station other than for breaks or to go home, led her to feeling stressed and on March 9, 2006, she went on certified sick leave, the court noted.

However, the judge said, he did not accept that she had been bullied, but had been spoken to by different supervisors for a number of what might be perceived minor matters.

In all the circumstances, he could not make a finding of bullying against An Post and had to dismiss her claim.

He adjourned the issue of costs to next week.

Online Editors

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News