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Security man loses €18k award from Tesco

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a security man sacked by Tesco after collaring a customer who called him a "f**kin' headcase" has lost an €18,000 award.

This follows the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) in a majority decision, ruling that the decision by Tesco to sack Eddie Harris arising out of the incident outside its Balbriggan store in Dublin in March 2012 was fair.

As a result, the EAT has overturned an €18,000 award to Mr Harris made by a Rights Commissioner in relation to his sacking.

'Abusive'

In his evidence to the EAT, Mr Harris said that on March 12, 2012, he was standing at the entrance to the Balbriggan Tesco store when he told a customer he would prefer if he did not go near him.

According to Mr Harris the customer called him "a f*****g headcase and other abusive terms".

Mr Harris said that he followed the customer out of the store into the common area and caught him by the collar and the customer caught him by the shirt.

Mr Harris told the customer that he was sick of him calling him names and "this better be the end of it".

They parted and Mr Harris returned to the store. He finished his shift and left the store.

The sacked security man told the tribunal that he had been abused by this customer over a period of two-and-a-half years.

Complaints

Mr Harris had told his supervisor about it but agreed he had not made any formal complaints.

Tesco launched an investigation and Mr Harris was sacked in April 2012.

The initial ruling found that the decision to sack Mr Harris was not proportionate.

However, in a majority ruling, the EAT found that Mr Harris "was employed as a security guard. One of his functions was to prevent the type of the occurrence that forms the subject matter of this claim".

The EAT found that on the day in question Mr Harris was unprovoked and he took it upon himself to following the injured party out of the store and assaulted him.

hnews@herald.ie


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