€40,000 awarded in case of unfair dismissal
A woman who was unfairly dismissed from her job by John Reynolds’s POD Entertainment Ltd has been awarded €40,000 compensation in the Circuit Civil Court.
Darach MacNamara told the court that Gabriella Varga had been awarded €8,000 compensation in the Employment Appeals Tribunal and was appealing against the size of the award.
He told Mr Justice Matthew Deery that Ms Varga (22), a mother of one, Liffey Valley Park, Lucan, Co Dublin, had an immaculate employment history as a bar person with the Harcourt Street-based entertainment company but things had started to go downhill after she announced in 2009 that she was pregnant.
Mr MacNamara said she had been told on a number of occasions that she would be better off giving up her job because “the physical labour involved would not be suitable for a pregnant woman”.
He said she had eventually been accused of gross misconduct, including taking money from the till, and dismissed completely unfairly.
She had a full defence to the allegations and records had been available to the company, which if checked, would have clearly exonerated her.
Mr MacNamara said that since the determination of unfair dismissal had been obtained against POD Entertainment Ltd, the company had in April last year gone into receivership and in October last had gone into voluntary liquidation. The liquidator was not contesting the appeal.
Ms Varga told Mr Justice Deery that she had her baby in May 2009 and had started seeking new employment in December of that year. She had applied for every type of job but had been unable even to get an interview since.
Mr MacNamara said the court had jurisdiction to award Ms Varga 104 weeks net pay to a maximum of €44,000.
Mr Justice Deery awarded her €40,000 compensation against the liquidator. He said she had made every effort to obtain alternative employment and had now been accepted for a college training course.