Friday 23 March 2018

HMV guard awarded €65,000 for unfair dismissal

Former HMV Security Guard Paul Murphy. Picture: Steve Humphreys
Former HMV Security Guard Paul Murphy. Picture: Steve Humphreys
Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

A FORMER HMV security guard, fired for what he called completely untrue allegations that he defrauded the company, has been awarded €65,000 for unfair dismissal.

Paul Murphy (28), from Navan Road in Dublin, had taken a case against the company to the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) in December last year.

The tribunal had heard how he was dismissed for alleged "gross misconduct" when it was claimed he fraudulently used a staff discount to purchase a PlayStation Vita.

Mr Murphy strenuously denied the allegation in evidence during the hearing.

His version of events was not contested by HMV, which was in receivership at the time.

In a written ruling the tribunal accepted his evidence and ruled that he was not fairly dismissed, awarding him the sum.

The computer science graduate worked for the retailer from 2008 until he was dismissed in April 2012.

The EAT had heard he held a number of jobs in those years, including as a cashier – a "position of trust".

The tribunal heard that HMV employees were entitled to a 30pc discount on any shop item, except for new hardware, and were able to buy returned items using the discount.

Giving evidence, Mr Murphy (pictured) explained that a customer had returned a PlayStation Vita to the Blanchardstown store in Dublin.

The security guard sought and received authorisation from his supervisor and bought the unit using the discount.

But following a stock take, it emerged that a new unit had gone missing from the store. Mr Murphy was called to a meeting and accused of using the discount to buy that unit.

He was suspended and later dismissed, despite writing to a HMV regional manager protesting his innocence and a statement from a supervisor supporting his version of events.

It was later discovered that work experience students on placement in the shop had put the new console out with old boxes and later returned to steal it, he told the tribunal.

The company did not appear to contest Mr Murphy's version of events or to argue that his dismissal was fair.

Irish Independent

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