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Employee Fired For Having A Glass Of Wine Gets €7k Compensation

A BARMAN at an exclusive hotel and spa has been awarded €7,500 compensation after he was fired over drinking a glass of wine and giving a glass of coke to a chef.

The employee was dismissed for gross misconduct over a glass of wine and a glass of coke in July 2007. In evidence, the employee admitted to giving a fellow employee a glass of coke which he did not pay for.

The employee said that such an incident was common practice. He insisted he had never offered an alcoholic drink to staff.

He was later disciplined and subsequently fired.

Judge Griffin heard that the company claimed that drinking a glass of wine and the providing of a glass of coke to the chef was gross misconduct.

Dorothy Donovan, for the employee, told the court that when the employee arrived at the disciplinary meeting with his solicitor, the company refused to allow the meeting to go ahead because they were not legally represented.

The employee received no minutes of the investigation meeting or the disciplinary meeting but was subsequently given his P45. He was not informed of the nature of the complaints or who had made the allegations against him.

The court heard that the minutes of the meetings were only provided to the employee the day before the court case. Judge Griffin refused to allow the minutes be introduced as the employee and his counsel had not seen them. Judge Griffin said he found the process employed by the hotel to be flawed. Finding that the employee had been wrongfully dismissed, Judge Griffin awarded damages of €7,500 and costs.