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Blog  »  August 2017  »  Employee fairly dismissed over 2 paper cups of coffee powder - Blog
9
Aug 17

Posted by
Lauren Conway

Employee fairly dismissed over 2 paper cups of coffee powder

A chief kitchen steward for a 4-star hotel in Limerick has lost his case for unfair dismissal over two cups of coffee powder. Krzysztof Scislowski was dismissed from the Strand Hotel in Limerick in March this year after he admitted to taking two cups of coffee powder he liked from the hotel kitchen as it wasn’t available in the staff canteen.

Background

Mr. Scislowski had been employed at the Strand Hotel since 2007 as chief kitchen steward where his duties included the supervision of staff and of cleaning, maintenance of all cleaning equipment and to control the security of hotel stock and property. Two paper cups full of coffee powder were found in his locker during a search after a colleague reported seeing Mr. Scislowski wrapping the cups and putting them into his pocket. Mr. Scislowski initially claimed that he had bought the coffee at a shop and transferred it to the cups when the glass jar broke. But during the third interview, he confessed that he had taken it from the dry-goods cupboard. He said that he had lied because he was scared that nobody would believe him that the coffee was intended for consumption during work and not to take home.

Dismissed

Mr. Scislowski was dismissed for gross misconduct on the grounds that trust was lost when he took the coffee and then lied about it. He appealed the decision to the general manager who upheld the decision on the grounds that the Strand Hotel “has zero tolerance of theft and that the value of the item taken is not a factor”.

Appeal

He told the EAT and that he did not understand the severity of his actions and thought that with an unblemished record that he would only receive a warning. The tribunal found that the hotel was reasonable to believe that Mr. Scislowski had intended on taking the coffee home and that he had breached the trust they had put in him as he was responsible for the security of the stock and when he lied during the initial stages of the investigation.

It's clear to see that once you have company policies and procedures in place and you follow those procedures during a dismissal process, you are protecting your company if a claim were brought against you. 

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Posted in Company handbook, Contract of employment, Dismissals, Employee Contracts, Employee Handbook, Employee Theft, Employment Contract, Employment Tribunals, Staff Handbook