Waitress sacked on the spot after TripAdvisor claim she was 'abrupt'
A male restaurant boss sacked a waitress on the spot after a customer posting a negative comment on TripAdvisor complaining that "the red-haired waitress was abrupt".
The woman, who also worked 'front of house' at the restaurant, sued for unfair dismissal and the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) has upheld her claim and ordered the restaurant to pay her €2,000 compensation.
The restaurant boss told the WRC he accepted the waitress's version of events around the dismissal but that he also received two other complaints from customers and, in addition, received about 20 complaints from other members of staff about their colleague.
The boss accepted at the WRC that he did not inform the waitress of these other complaints when sacking her.
In a hard-hitting ruling, WRC adjudication officer Máire Mulcahy said the use of the TripAdvisor comment and 20 alleged complaints "is not far short of mob rule in the workplace" when the waitress was not offered the opportunity to examine their truthfulness.
Ms Mulcahy said the comment on TripAdvisor which the restaurant used as reason to dismiss her "is very far removed" from the concept of 'substantial grounds' to warrant a dismissal as required by the Unfair Dismissal Act.
The adjudication officer said: "There was no disciplinary procedure in the workplace. There was no process. No advance notice, no examination of the alleged complaints, no opportunity to be accompanied at the meeting which resulted in her dismissal or right of appeal was afforded to the complainant."
The waitress told the WRC she believed the real reason she was dismissed was because of the support she offered her boss's partner in the break-up of that relationship.
The WRC report said the restaurant boss had apologised to the waitress for his behaviour.