Manager of nightclub made redundant following heart surgery wins €35,000

When employee went to workplace he was ‘escorted off the premises’

A nightclub manager who argued his redundancy was a “guise” to get rid of him after he had a triple heart bypass has won more than €35,000 for disability discrimination and unfair dismissal.

Richard Green, the former operations manager at Tramline Taverns Limited in Dublin, received the awards on foot of complaints under the Unfair Dismissals Act 1977 and the Employment Equality Act in a tribunal decision published this morning (TUES).

Mr Green, who earned €1,000 a week, gave evidence at the Workplace Relations Commission that at a medical check-up in November 2021 he was told that he needed triple bypass surgery. He then informed a director of the firm that he would be having the heart operation early in 2022.

Mr Green’s solicitor, Anne O’Connell, submitted that there was an “immediate and surprising change in the director’s behaviour” towards her client.


Mr Green’s evidence was that when he got sick it was “used as a stick to beat [me]” and “an excuse to keep [me] out of work”, even though he was able to work and was still fit at the time of a hearing last November.

He told the tribunal that he had cause to seek legal advice because of the nature of certain text messages from the director in January 2022. In February that year, he noticed he stopped getting work messages from his boss on WhatsApp, he added.

Mr Green told the tribunal he spoke to the director about going back to work after the surgery, but was referred to a HR consultant, who referred him back to the director, only to be told there was an “ongoing” review and that a report would be “forthcoming”. Mr Green’s evidence was that he never saw this report.

Then, in December 2022, he was told in a letter from his manager that the business was “being restructured” and that his role was going to be made redundant, he said.

Mr Green said he went to his workplace on December 30th, 2022 but was “escorted off the premises”.

His solicitor, Ms O’Connell, submitted that her client was “dismissed under the guise of a redundancy” in January 2023 but that there was “no genuine redundancy at that time”.

Nor was there any consultation process with Mr Green before the decision to dismiss was made by his former employer, she told the tribunal.

The company’s liquidator, Gavin Simons of AMOSS LLP, told the WRC by email that it was “not in a position to address the balance of the case or adduce any evidence and so does not intend participating in the hearing”. He added that the liquidator was neither contesting the claims nor conceding them.

Adjudicator Roger McGrath heard the case in the absence of the company and concluded on the basis of Mr Green’s uncontested evidence that his work “had not ceased at the time of his dismissal” and that it was “not a genuine redundancy”.

He also concluded Mr Green “was discriminated against by reason of his disability and was treated unlawfully by the respondent when he was not allowed to return to work when certified fit”.

Upholding both of the employee’s statutory claims, Mr McGrath awarded Mr Green €27,645 for unfair dismissal and a further €8,000 compensation for disability discrimination – a total of €35,645.