Sales assistant at major retailer who went on ‘rampage’ loses unfair dismissal case
30th March 2021
A sales assistant was sacked after going on a “rampage” that included breaking a display cabinet and door and throwing stock across the shop floor.
The worker at a major nationwide retailer lost his case after suing his employer for unfair dismissal.
He argued that losing his job was a harsh and disproportionate response to a once off incident.
The incident happened on September 5, 2019 and an investigation took place that resulted in him being dismissed on October 21 that year.
He was suspended on full pay during the investigation.
At a remote hearing at the Workplace Relations Commission last month, the worker – who is not named – said there were no procedural defects with the investigation process.
However, he said the sanction was a harsh and disproportionate outcome to the once-off incident.
He argued that there were “human circumstances involved” from outside the work arena.
The worker also argued that it followed what he perceived as repeated errors with his payslips.
He conceded that he is a big framed person and might not be aware of his own strength.
Although he accepted he caused damage, he argued it was not as much as the company indicated.
He said his behaviour was not aggressive but “almost to the point of not being able to think”, and he needed to go to the canteen to calm down.
The employer said the incident could be referred to as a rampage and violence was used when company assets were broken or destroyed.
It claimed there were four areas of damage, including breaking a door, a display cabinet and throwing stock across the shop floor.
Adjudication officer decision Conor Stokes said he was inclined to accept the employer’s view of his behaviour given the worker conceded he is a big framed man, and may not be aware of his own strength.
He found that the worker was not unfairly dismissed.