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Woman sacked for cursing and flirting at work fights back - gets €12,500

Refuse company Oxigen didn’t like Janet Mooney’s “colourful language”.
Aug 22nd 2014, 5:25 PM 41,918 71

A WOMAN WHO was sacked for cursing in her office and keeping a customer on hold while flirting with a colleague has been awarded €12,500 in compensation.

Janet Mooney lost her job of four years at refuse company Oxigen after management took exception to her “colourful” language in the open-plan call centre.

The company allege that Mooney used bad language during phone conversations with colleagues and kept one customer on hold for five minutes while talking to a colleague, partly about the customer’s issue, but also in a flirtatious manner with the colleague.

She was dismissed for gross misconduct in July 2012 after being called to a meeting with management where they played a recording of some of her phone conversations.

The company says that Mooney was unapologetic about her conduct and based on this they decided that she was to be dismissed.

But Mooney argued that she was called to the meeting on 48 hours notice and was not offered the chance to have any representative present with her.

She also denied using offensive language and claimed that the real reason for her dismissal was a refusal to accept further pay cuts.

Mooney argued that during her training for her role she was never given any specific instructions on her use of language.

Mooney made a claim to the Employment Appeals Tribunal alleging that her dismissal was unfair. The tribunal has now concluded that her dismissal was indeed unfair.

They decided that there is “no doubt” that Mooney expressed herself using “expletives and offensive language which was unacceptable to some of her listeners”.

Although the tribunal said they could not condone this, they decided that Oxigen had not gone through the correct procedures in dismissing her and, given her unblemished record, a “clear warning would have sufficed”.

She was award €12,500 in compensation.

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Rónán Duffy


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