The Irish Whiskey Museum has been ordered to pay out €22,540 compensation for the unfair dismissal of its general manager who felt ‘humiliated’ at the treatment she received from her employer.
In the case before the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) Adjudicator, Roger McGrath has ordered Irish Whiskey Museum Ltd to pay its general manager of three years, Nicola McDonnell the €22,540 for her unfair dismissal as in November 2021.
In his findings, Mr McGrath found that due to the actions of her employer it was reasonable for Ms McDonnell to resign from her job.
Mr McGrath found that a number of incidents outlined by Ms McDonnell taken collectively strongly support the contention that her position was untenable ahead of her constructive dismissal.
He found the removal of access to email, the requirement to seek permission to access the museum and then be accompanied for the entirety of the visit, the issuing of an “official warning” with no due process, must have been very difficult for Ms McDonnell to handle.
At hearing, Ms McDonnell submitted that since July 2020, she has felt harassed, threatened, and abused in her position.
Ms McDonnell submitted that she has been largely excluded from what was happening in the company since July 2020.
She submitted that on August 5th 2021, her employer wrote to her asking her why she was not looking for other work and this correspondence left her feeling very vulnerable and uncertain about her future.
Ms McDonnell stated that on November 1st 2021, she sent an email to her employer requesting redundancy and she received a letter back on November 8th 2021, agreeing to pay the redundancy and outlining how much she would get paid.
Ms McDonnell submitted a constructive dismissal complaint to the WRC on November 9th 2021, before the redundancy was paid and Ms McDonnell submitted her former employer will now not pay her a redundancy lump sum she is due, her two weeks outstanding holiday pay or the two weeks’ notice payment she is owed as a result.
Ms McDonnell secured alternative employment in late December 2021.
In direct evidence, Ms McDonnell’s former employer stated that he had not tried to get rid of Ms McDonnell.
He thought the parties might be able sort out their problems, that Ms McDonnell had done a very good job as general manager, but the reality is they could not work together and that this was not going to happen.
He stated that it was always open for Ms McDonnell to come back to work and that he was sorry this had happened.
In a submission the employer stated that he does not believe that his behaviour during this period had anything to do with Ms McDonnell resigning from her position.