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Lingerie buyer settles sacking dispute with BT

A woman who was dismissed from her job as group buyer of lingerie and swimsuits for the Brown Thomas chain of department stores has settled her High Court action against the company.

Earlier this week Mary Mullin, who claimed Brown Thomas terminated her employment after she complained she was bullied and harassed at work by a superior, secured an injunction preventing the chain from giving effect to its decision to terminate her employment.

At a sitting of the High Court yesterday Colm Condon, appearing with Matthew Jolley for Ms Mullin, told the court that the matter between the parties had been settled and the entire proceedings could be struck out.

Marcus Dowling, for Brown Thomas, said his client was consenting to that course of action.

No details of the settlement, which was announced following lengthy talks between the sides, were revealed in open court.

While the terms of the agreement are confidential it is understood that Ms Mullin will not be returning to work for the company.

In her action, Ms Mullin, of Rathgar, Dublin 6, sought a number of orders, including reinstating her to the position she held with BT.

Lawyers for Ms Mullin, who started work for BT in 2004, told the court their client was informed last week she was being let go from her position as buyer of lingerie, swimwear and hosiery sold in all of Brown Thomas group's stores.

It was claimed her dismissal arose out of complaints she made to her employers, through BT's grievance procedures, that she had been bullied by a superior, who she alleged made her working life "unbearable".



Breakdown

Ms Mullin's complaints were subject to mediation. Counsel said it was suggested at a meeting with a representative of Ms Mullin that she should leave the company given the breakdown of the working relationship with her superior. She claimed she was "taken aback" by this suggestion.

Last week, BT informed her it had decided to terminate her employment.

Ms Mullin lawyer's claimed she had been "summarily dismissed" from what was a "high profile" and niche job. It was also claimed she not been afforded natural justice by BT including the right of an appeal against its decision.

Ms Mullin further claimed her dismissal would do irreparable damage to her professional reputation.

hnews@herald.ie


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