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Background of the Case

The case herein stated relates to the unfair dismissal of complainant Ms. Katie Taylor who has been working as an employee of respondent herein referred to as Leisure Fitness Centre based in Waterford. The recruitment of the complainant herein referred to as Ms. Katie Taylor was confirmed in the year 2014 and since then she has been serving the employer on minimum wage base working 30 hours a week. The problems and issues did arise when the complainant in September 2021 took maternity leave and during that period the organization did undergo some change in structure and hierarchy of the organization (Barnes, Balnave, Holland,2018).

The changes in the managerial positions of the organization did commence issues for the complainant herein referred to as Katie Taylor. The change was amendments in the managerial position. One Jim Nasium, an active employee of the corporation was designated to the post of manger after resignation of Mr. Jones from the post which he did hold from a longer period of time. The professional relations of Nasium and complainant Ms. Taylor were unhealthy as the new manager did use to make inappropriate and derogatory comments and gestures towards Taylor which made it difficult for Taylor to work in the corporation. The issue became denser when the supervisor of Taylor, the managerial position was handled over to Jim Nasium who did exploit this opportunity in the best possible way to derogate, defame, criticize and insult Taylor herein referred to as the complainant (Bowers And Lewis, 2018).

Katie Taylor did complain about the same conduct of Jim to the disciplinary committee by virtue of an email and also notified and escalated this matter to the Human resource personnel Mr. Eastwood. The efforts by the complainant did go in vain, rather she was confronted by the management on some unjustified points that actually were not based upon concrete evidences and logical reasoning.

The Case before the honourable authority has been bought against the unfair dismissal as alleged by the complainant herein referred to as Katie Taylor against the respondent Leisure Fitness Centre by the virtue of its directors. The dismissal and termination of Taylor was on justified and reasoned grounds and the case so filed before the honourable authority shall be refuted and dismissed having no base and premise for filing such complaint claiming unfair dismissal (Brannon, 2019).

The arguments and the defence which the respondent presents in order to sustain the case in its favour and logically refuting all the allegations so made by the complainant herein referred to as Katie Taylor are detailed and described as under:

Arguments

We Contend that the cause of action in the case so discussed arose initially and primarily when the complainant herein referred to as Katie Taylor after returning from the maternity leave indulged into some unprofessional actions and conduct which fostered a negative impact on the repute and goodwill of the organization as well as upon the co-employees. The major reason for the dismissal of the employee herein referred to as the complainant Ms. Taylor was the gross breach of the terms and conditions of the employment as well as the breach of social media norms and regulations of the organization which an employee is assumed to know post joining the organization so as to avoid and deterring from any such future actions and aggressions (Chitimira, 2021).

We contend that even after being afforded reasonable opportunity of being heard and serving of show cause for the conducts and aggressions so committed the complainant failed to satisfy and justify the reasons for the same and also did voluntarily confess the wrongful conducts. The employee could not provide the clear evidences of the allegations so made against the manager Jim, neither could she justify her wrongful conduct and aggressions.

We contend that by virtue of Section 6 of Unfair Dismissal Act, 1977 the complainant has not been unfairly dismissed and the respondent shall attach and present all the required documents and evidences which supports the dismissal by the respondent of complainant (Collins, 2018).

We will show by presentation of the ratio documents to the honourable authority taking cognizance of the complaint so filed by the complainant that there are no valid grounds on which the authority herein referred to as Workplace Rights Commission for proceeding with the hearing and the complaint tends to be summarily dismissed.

We will demonstrate and by virtue of the established connecting timelines prove the continuing defaults, breaches and violations by the complainant of the terms and conditions of the organization and the further liabilities that the complainant shall bear(Collins,2021).

We contend that apart from the claim that the dismissal was unfair on part of the respondent the respondent therefore holds the right to commence prosecution against the respondent for defaming the organization and file a civil suit for the claim of damages caused thereto by the unlawful act of the respondent herein referred to as Katie Taylor.

We contend that by virtue of the Section 6(4) of Unfair Dismissal Act, 1977 if an employee in this case the complainant indulges in any such activity and misconduct which directly or indirectly prejudices the interests and goodwill of the organization which has been  aggressed in this case by the complainant, then the dismissal on such grounds shall be a valid premise for the organization by virtue of its management to dismiss/terminate the employment of the employee with due regards to the professional conduct and procedure as incorporated by the company in its regulations as well as general workplace and industrial legislations as legislated upon by the legislators(Dreibelbis,2021).

Breaches and Violations of the Complainant Katie Taylor

We contend that the allegations of the complainant that the grievances of the complainant has not been heard upon by the management and it only is a crooked up story in order to strain the employee and pressurize the complainant is also a baseless allegation and the complaint so made has been duly investigated upon by the management and the lack of proper evidences and witnesses on the part of employee herein referred to as the complainant thus provided a base to management for refuting and dismissing the request for lodging a formal complaint against the manager herein referred to as Mr. Jim Nasium (Ladegaard,2022).

We contend that the discriminatory comments passed by the complainant which was validly admitted and confessed by the complainant during the disciplinary and investigative meeting calls did prove her guilt. The element of acting malafidely to derogate the working interests of the organization was the major reason for the dismissal which is no where restricted and prohibited by the Unfair Dismissal Act(Lam,2016).

We will show in the further attached documents and appendices that the dismissal was in consonance with the Employment regulations of Ireland including the Unfair dismissal act of 1977 and the object of dismissal and termination was to only deter the employees from entering into such actions and the consequences they may have to face in the case of aggressions, violations and breaches.

As far as the dismissal is concerned the final decision vests with the honourable authority and the wisdom of the authority shall be given due respect and would be certainly honoured with. If after due screening of the oral and written submissions and examination of witnesses the adjudicating authority finds that the dismissal was unfair then the adjudicating authority may order:

  • Re-Instatement
  • Re-Engagement
  • Compensation for up to 2 years(Mgrditchian,2015)

The presentation of our case is based on certain grounds and so are the underlying reasons of the arguments listed and stated above. The premises and grounds on which these arguments are based are certain conduct violations and aggressions of the complainant herein referred to as Katie Taylor and the glimpse of all those violations in a chronological order is enshrined as under:

  • The Comments of complainant herein referred to as Katie Taylor regarding the manager Jim Nasium without any valid held ground for the same.
  • Posting of certain vexatious and defaming comments on social media platform named snapchat by stating that working in the Leisure Centre is like “Hell on Earth” which had immense potential of dislodging the brand value of the employer herein referred to as the employer.
  • Wilful and Intentional “Leaving the workplace without permission” of the immediate supervisor or the manager subject to availability.
  • Discriminatory comments made by the complainant against a new recruit McGregor (Pawson, 2021).

These were the major reasons which led and did facilitate the organization to dismiss and terminate the job and employment of complainant Ms. Katie Taylor herein referred to as the complainant.

Katie Taylor herein referred to as the complainant made disgraceful, defaming and insulting comments about the co-colleagues and the seniors which forms the part of professional violation as far as the rues and regulations of the organization is concerned. The breaches of the complainant amount to professional misconduct and voluntary breach of the professional duties of the employee which does not only results in the termination or dismissal of the employee rather also paves a way to institute criminal or civil proceedings and prosecute the employee so terminated from job.

We do have actual evidences justifying the same and the witness who shall certainly testify upon being called for examination procedures (Phe,2018).

The evidences by virtue of which the organization has aggressed with the termination and dismissal of the complainant herein referred to as Katie Taylor are listed and enumerated as under:

  • Pictures of the statements posted by the respondent on snapchat relating to the working conditions in the organization and the conditions of those who work in the organization. The statement so posted was not a generic statement rather was a specific statement mentioning and quoting the name of the organization in which the complainant was working and given the usage of social media and the range of exposure which a social media comment/post can be exposed to in a very less period of time clearly supports the threat which the organization was exposed to by such a comment and post which quoted, working in the respondent organization is “Hell on Earth”. A reasonable interpretation and understanding of the statement and comment so made does simply indicates the level of trauma and stress the organization fosters upon the employee and so is the working conditions and terms of the employment prompt.
  • The voluntary confession of the complainant Ms. Katie Taylor regarding the comments made for the manager and the new recruited colleague and the failure to support the same aversions with concrete evidences and justifications.
  • The failure of complainant herein referred to as Katie Taylor to honour to the professional standards of the organization despite being aware of the rules and regulations of the same and living the workplace without the permission of immediate supervisor or manager.
  • The consent to the rules, regulations, terms and policies of the organization provides ipso facto evidence that any contravention of the provisions of the same can lead to dismissal and termination or suspension depending the gravity and seriousness of the offence so committed. We, herein referred to as the respondents in the complaint so filed by the employee herein referred to as the complainant Ms. Katie Taylor do have strict policies and regulations regarding the social media usage and the reasonable encroachment right of the organization to scrutinize the same at regular intervals so as to evade the possibility of encroachments and violations (Reddy, 2018).
  • It has been expressly provided in the social media norms and regulations of the organization that all the employees should be mindful of what they are posting on social media platforms and shall deter from aggressing such conducts and in case they proceed with such conducts and posts the consequences shall be borne by the employee personally depending upon the range and scope of damage that can be caused to the entity. The complainant Katie Taylor in this case did aggress with posting the comments about the organization which made it clear to the organization that the complainant has violated the fundamental rules and principles of the organization which shall be punishable under all circumstances so as to uphold the essence of professional ethics and commitments (Ryu And Han, 2021).
  • The comments of complainant to one McGrath under the employment of the corporation about a new recruited co-colleague challenging and mocking the efficiency of the colleague.
  • Making discriminatory comments about the manager Jim Nasium without any justifiable reasons and concrete evidences of the same.
  • The claim of the complainant regarding the unfairness in dismissing from the employment contract can be directly refuted on the grounds of each and every step of the organization, from commencement of the investigation proceeding till conclusion of the same has been in consonance with the Terms and Conditions regulations of the organization. The terms of the organization not only bind the employees of the organization rather it also binds the organization as a whole and any breach or digression from the terms can be challenged in any competent court or tribunal as the procedural legislations suggest and prompt. In this case the respondent has not committed any kind of unethical, illegal or procedural irregularity or breach or violation and all the processes have been duly followed by the organization.

In the case as has been discussed herein, the witnesses that shall justify and testify on the side of plaintiff are Client Eastwood, herein referred to as the investigation officer and Annie Mc Grath. The acknowledgement on the parts of both the witnesses the plaintiff wills and hosts to testify shall work in favour of Plaintiff and strengthen the case of plaintiff hence supporting the summary dismissal of Taylor without affording any reasonable grounds neither concerning the valid and legitimate complaints of Taylor against the corporation personnel. Both the personnel as has been stated and willed to be presented as witness in the favour of Katie Taylor are the prime entities to whom the complaint was made by Taylor concerning the mala fide, arbitrary and wrongful conduct of the seniors which could not be aggravated reasonably before the top management and hence ignored the concerns of Taylor. The witnesses in this case shall acknowledge the due complaint made to them first hand by the complainant as is referred to in this case and if any enquiry or investigation was conducted formally for considering and concluding the completeness of the complaint of Taylor. The complaint stating the kind of aggression and conduct with which Taylor was being treated by the senior mentors and the escalation of same to the concerned authorities shall build a strong premise for the complainant to justify the arbitral and biased dismissal and shall afford the ground for re instatement.

We therefore summarize our case as far as the advance hearing memorandum is considered from our end. The document thus summarizes that Gross Misconduct have been committed by the complainant herein referred to as the existing employee of the organization by defaming the entity and the co-colleagues. Dismissal has nit been frivolous and vexatious and due procedure for concluding the process has been carried out and the witnesses have been supplemented who may testify orally in the case of adjudicating authority requiring the same. The passing of defaming remarks out of personal grudges and blaming the colleagues and seniors without quoting actual evidences and justification has been found to be the principal ground for dismissing the employment. The employment operandi of the complainant even after 6 years of employment was in complete derogation to the policies and regulation of the organization (Shi And Zhong, 2018).

With due respect and honour we have shown and presented the case details with attached summary to the case and pray to the adjudication authority t whom the written memorandum is being presented to take the cognizance of the same and deliver the judgment considering the cases of both complainant and respondent. Appendices have been attached herein for kind perusal of the adjudicating authority and any other corroborative, supporting and supplementing documents shall be certainly furnished as and when required. We have not proved our case but with a view to give a detailed account of the case and the ratio documents which would help us in supplementing our case have been attached and discussed in this advance hearing report.

References

Barnes, A., Balnave, N. and Holland, P., 2018. ‘Utterly disgraceful’: Social media and the workplace. Australian Journal of Public Administration, 77(3), pp.492-499.

Bowers, J. and Lewis, J., 2018. Whistling for Dismissal and Detriment Remedies: Royal Mail Ltd v Jhuti. Industrial Law Journal, 47(1), pp.121-134.

Brannon, V.C., 2019. Free speech and the regulation of social media content. Congressional Research Service, 45650, pp.1-43.

Chitimira, H., 2021. Dismissal And Related Problems Of Social Media-Related Misconduct In The South African Workplace. Perspectives of Law and Public Administration, 10(3), pp.233-251.

Collins, P., 2018. The inadequate protection of human rights in unfair dismissal law. Industrial Law Journal, 47(4), pp.504-530.

Collins, P.M., 2021. Finding Fault in the Law of Unfair Dismissal: The Insubstantiality of Reasons for Dismissal. Industrial Law Journal.

Dreibelbis, H.M., 2021. Social Media Defamation: A New Legal Frontier amid the Internet Wild West. Duke J. Const. L. & Pub. Pol'y, 16, p.245.

Ladegaard, H.J., 2022. Language, Discrimination and Employability: Employers’ Othering and Racist Representations of Domestic Migrant Workers on Social Media. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 41(1), pp.97-118.

Lam, H., 2016. Social media dilemmas in the employment context. Employee Relations.

Mgrditchian, G., 2015. Employment & Social Media Privacy: Employer Justifications for Access to Private Material. Rutgers Computer & Tech. LJ, 41, p.108.

Pawson, A., 2021. Balancing Rights amidst Social Media Scandals: How Employers Can Deal with Employees' Reputation-Damaging and/or Defamatory Social Media Posts. Pretoria Student L. Rev., 15, p.215.

Phe, N., 2018. Social Media Terror: Reevaluating Intermediary Liability Under the Communications Decency Act. Suffolk UL Rev., 51, p.99.

Reddy, S., 2018. Establishing a test for social media misconduct in the workplace. Journal of South African Law/Tydskrif vir die Suid-Afrikaanse Reg, 2018(4), pp.789-819.

Ryu, E.A. and Han, E., 2021. Social media influencer’s reputation: Developing and validating a multidimensional scale. Sustainability, 13(2), p.631.

Shi, E. and Zhong, F., 2018. Rethinking the reinstatement remedy in unfair dismissal law. Adelaide Law Review, The, 39(2), pp.363-392.

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