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Fireman sacked over sexual harassment

a SUPERVISOR in the Limerick fire service was dismissed from his post after a complaint of sexual harassment and harassment was made against him by a female colleague.

Jon Monnickendam lost his job in October 2011 after independent consultants hired by Limerick City Council to investigate 13 separate allegations found adverse findings against the fireman in respect of four.

Mr Monnickendam appealed the sacking to the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) and the tribunal has ruled that his appeal has failed.

A hearing was told that the un-named female complainant alleged that the harassment included name calling, sexual innuendo, insinuation that she was a lesbian, and knowledge of Mr Monnickendam exposing himself.

Mr Monnickendam was the woman's supervisor in the fire service control room.

The EAT report records that initially the woman saw the name calling as banter but it progressed to the stage that she verbally complained about the situation. In June 2010 she sent a document outlining her allegations to Mr Monnickendam's supervisor.

EXPOSING

A female colleague of the two gave evidence of Mr Monnickendam exposing himself to her on two occasions.

The first time it was "laughed off', but she took offence the second time and asked his partner - another Council worker - to ensure it didn't happen again.

At the hearing, Mr Monnickendam gave evidence and didn't accept that he was bullying, harassing or sexually harassing the complainant.

He accepted that he exposed himself at a work night out while under the influence.

The EAT noted that Mr Monnickendam was offered and declined the right to appeal the City's Manager's decision to dismiss him and it ruled that his appeal has failed.

Limerick Council and the SIPTU official handling the case on Mr Monnickendam's behalf both declined to comment last night.

hnews@herald.ie


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