A former Aldi worker, who claimed he was shouted at in front of customers to ‘move his ass’, has lost a claim for unfair dismissal against the company and now faces an extensive legal costs bill.
Eileen Barrington, for Aldi Stores (Ireland) Ltd, told the Circuit Civil Court yesterday that Yusuf Khan, of King’s St, Wexford, had repudiated his employment contract by refusing to work with the assistant store manager he alleged had victimised him. Ms Barrington said Mr Khan wanted to be allowed decide who he would work with and where.
She said the incident he had complained of had happened in Aldi’s store on Longmile Rd, Dublin. Following an investigation by area manager Elaine Maguire, he had been offered a position in the company’s outlet in Palmerstown, Co Dublin, where he had worked previously.
Mr Khan told the court he felt being forced to move was further victimisation and had returned to work at the Longmile Rd store on September 9, 2013, three weeks after his assistant manager had suspended him, a suspension that had been overturned by Ms Maguire.
Ms Barrington told Judge Jacqueline Linnane that Mr Khan stayed at work for only 10 minutes after discovering he would still have to work with his assistant manager and who, he felt, had not been disciplined for shouting at him and suspending him.
The court heard Mr Khan had failed to win an unfair dismissal case he had taken against Aldi in the Employment Appeals Tribunal, on the grounds the tribunal considered the proper complaint should have been one of constructive dismissal which he had failed to establish.
Ms Barrington said Mr Khan, while absent on full pay, had failed to engage meaningfully with Aldi about returning to work. The tribunal had held he wanted some sort of retribution against his assistant manager, she said, adding that it had been unanimous in finding that Mr Khan had abandoned his position.
She said Mr Khan was now attempting to establish that he had been unfairly dismissed by Aldi on December 31, 2013, two months after he had gone to Fás seeking training for a new position.
Ms Barrington said he had been warned that Aldi would not hold his job open for him indefinitely and, having considered he had abandoned his position, had sent him his P45.
Judge Linnane, dismissing Mr Khan’s claim for compensation, said if Aldi had dismissed him she would have accepted their action as reasonable and justified.
Awarding costs against Mr Khan, the judge said she accepted Ms Barrington’s contention that he had abandoned his position and repudiated his employment contract by failure to return to work.
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