EMPLOYMENT APPEALS TRIBUNAL
CLAIM(S) OF: CASE NO.
Ana María González Garretas, UD511/2013
UNFAIR DISMISSALS ACTS, 1977 TO 2007
I certify that the Tribunal
(Division of Tribunal)
Chairman: Ms. M. Levey BL
Members: Mr. T.P. Flood
Mr. J. Flannery
heard this claim in Dublin on 23 April 2014 and 29-30 July 2014
No legal or trade union representation at the Tribunal hearings
Ms. Paula Quinn on behalf of Ms Catriona Forsyth. I.B.E.C., Confederation House, 84/86 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2
The determination of the Tribunal was as follows:-
This case came to the Tribunal as a constructive dismissal claim brought by an employee of a childcare body which specialised in assisting the visually impaired.
The respondent’s position was that the claimant had left her employment voluntarily without exhausting the respondent’s grievance procedure. The respondent had fully investigated the claimant’s situation but had not made a finding in her favour. The respondent’s position had been upheld on appeal. The claimant had ultimately walked out of her job. The respondent was prepared to call at least three witnesses to give evidence to the Tribunal.
Giving sworn testimony with the aid of a Tribunal-appointed interpreter, the claimant said that her employment had begun in February 2007 and that she had resigned in March 2013. She claimed to have been bullied by TF (the respondent’s human resource person) and IS (the claimant’s department manager). The claimant had felt embarrassed and humiliated in the presence of colleagues after TF took the claimant’s personal computer. A password breach matter (raised by the claimant) had led to the claimant feeling antagonised. The claimant also felt unhappy about where she had to sit in terms of temperature and draught. There was also a problem with the loud volume of background radio noise.
The claimant spoke to the respondent’s CEO about her unhappiness but was not pleased with his response.
The Tribunal permitted the claimant to read into the record a long written statement which was furnished to the Tribunal and which included but was not confined to the above. The case adjourned from 23 April 2014 to be heard over two full days on 29 and 30 July 2014.
When the case resumed the claimant told of her issues with the respondent from the abovementioned computer issue and how the respondent treated her in that context to issues surrounding her being moved within the workplace and resulting issues with noise and draughts. The claimant alleged that she had had an excellent health record for four-and-a half years of employment but that her health had deteriorated to the extent that she was out sick from mid-November 2012 to when she eventually resigned in March 2013.
Three witnesses were called in support of the respondent. The respondent’s position was that it had concern for the claimant to the point that it even wrote to her after she resigned but, receiving no reply, ultimately felt obliged to accept her resignation.
Having considered all of the evidence adduced over days of hearing, the Tribunal is unanimous in finding that the claimant did not discharge the very heavy onus of proof needed to show that her eventual resignation was reasonable and justified in all of the circumstances. The Tribunal was not satisfied that she had done enough to exhaust local remedies before her employment ended. The respondent’s case was that the claimant had become disenchanted with the respondent arising from what she felt was a lack of career progression within the respondent. The claimant never properly explained why she did not engage with the respondent when the respondent wrote to her following her resignation. The claim under the Unfair Dismissals Acts, 1977 to 2007, fails.
Sealed with the Seal of the
Employment Appeals Tribunal