Labour Court rules Dunnes justified in dismissing cafe employee who ate food worth €29

Labour Court found employee's conduct "could be regarded as sufficiently grave to give rise to serious disciplinary sanction"

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4 August 2020 | 0

Dunnes Stores was justified in dismissing a café restaurant manager who allegedly consumed food worth €29 without paying for it. That’s according to a recent ruling by the Labour Court.

Karen Walsh was sacked in July 2017 by the retailer in relation to four separate alleged incidents at the Dunnes Stores’ restaurant in Dublin.

The Irish Independent reports Dunnes alleged that Walsh ate food valued at €5 without paying for it on 26 May, 2017. On two further alleged occassions – on 15 June and 16 June 2017, she again ate food valued at €5 without paying for it.

Next, on 18 June 2017, Dunnes Stores alleged she prepared food valued at €14 and ate it at the staff canteen without payment.

The Labour Court stated the allegations underlying the dismissal were uncontested. Dunnes Stores claimed the incidents were reported to management by various employees.

Chairman Kevin Foley said the court was satisfied Karen Walsh’s conduct “could be regarded as sufficiently grave to give rise to serious disciplinary sanction” and that Dunnes had substantial grounds to justify her dismissal.

Claiming she was unfairly dismissed, Walsh challenged the dismissal on procedural grounds. She had been appealing a finding of the Workplace Relations Commission.

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