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Monday 21 October 2019

Woman awarded €17,500 in unfair dismissal case

WORKED AS NIGHT PORTER AT HOTEL ROSSLARE

AN ENNISCORTHY woman who was unfairly dismissed from the Hotel Rosslare has been awarded €17,500 by the Employment Appeals Tribunal.

Elaine Casey of 106 Moran Park, Enniscorthy, brought a claim against Hotel Rosslare under the Unfair Dismissals Acts and it was heard in Wexford on July 28 last, with the Tribunal publishing its determination last week.

' TK', the manager of Hotel Rosslare, told the Tribunal that 'GL' took over the running of the hotel in 2008. The hotel closed in January, February and March 2009.

When it reopened, all staff were reemployed and Ms Casey was employed as night porter from 11 p.m. until 8 a.m. Monday to Thursday, four nights a week.

It was alleged by Hotel Rosslare that while on early morning check out, Ms Casey failed to take a number of payments from customers and Hotel Rosslare was at a loss because of this.

' TK' said that on one occasion a guest came to the reception and told Ms Casey to charge his room to his credit card and left, but Ms Casey failed to notice that there was no credit card details for the guest on the system.

On May 9, 2009, Ms Casey was given a verbal warning. She was given a written warning on July 3. It was explained to her that the written warning would remain on her file for one year.

' TK' said that on July 8 at 11.20 p.m. Ms Casey failed to report for work. She telephoned her and it appeared that she had woken Ms Casey up. She reported for work at 12 a.m. but Ms Casey filled in the roster the next morning that she had reported for work at 11 p.m. ' TK' asked her for a doctor's note, but she did not provide one.

On Sunday, July 19, ' TK' called Ms Casey in relation to the time she reported for work and a bill. She told Ms Casey she was suspended until she could meet the manager.

On July 26 a letter was issued from GL to Ms Casey. A meeting was arranged which was attended by GL, Ms Casey and a friend of Ms Casey's. It was alleged that Ms Casey did not seem to care about the hotel and for this reason she was dismissed.

'GL' stated that suspension was his decision. He felt the one thing he did incorrectly was suspend her without pay.

Ms Casey told the tribunal that she commenced working with Hotel Rosslare in March 2001 in the bar and she became a night porter in 2005.

She said there was an amount of €94 outstanding on one room and that guest got away. When a resident bought a drink in the bar they signed a docket and those dockets were left for her to add to room charges. On one occasion she said the dockets were put under the mouse mat and she did not notice them.

She said that a guest who had made a telephone call queried his bill. The guest argued that he would not pay and left. She had his address and credit card details and gave those to the reception manager.

Ms Casey was due to work at 11 p.m. on July 8 but felt sick. She thought if she went to bed for a few hours she would feel better, but fell into a deep sleep. When she received the phone call from ' TK' she went into work sick.

The manager later told her she was suspended for two weeks until 'GL' returned. She was not given a reason.

Ms Casey said she went to the meeting hoping that matters could be resolved. She said she was surprised she was dismissed as she loved working in the hotel.

The tribunal was of the opinion that the entire process was rushed; that Ms Casey was not given sufficient time to consider her position and show improvement; that Hotel Rosslare itself should have taken more time in arriving at a considered decision; that the decision itself was harsh and difficult to justify and that a reasonable employer would not have decided to dismiss, but would have considered the full range of sanctions available and the potential benefits of remedial training for Ms Casey. She was awarded compensation of €17,500.

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