Car hire firm worker gets €17,500 in case for unfair dismissal

An employee of a car hire company suspected of involvement in the theft of a company car won his case for unfair dismissal, and was awarded €17,500 compensation.

Darren Gorman brought his case alleging constructive dismissal against Evergrey, trading as Avis Rent A Car, to the Employment Appeals Tribunal.

He told the hearing, in Dublin, no investigation into the theft had been carried out. Nobody, neither the depot manager nor the gardaí, had contacted him about the matter, Mr Gorman said.

The theft of the company car in late July 2012 was the final issue for him. He had been suspended for suspected involvement and while he later received a letter to say he could resume duty, it did not exonerate him.

There had also been previous issues and he subsequently resigned.

The depot manager told the tribunal he made the decision to suspend Mr Gorman on full pay on July 24, 2012. A car had been stolen from the depot and he had examined CCTV footage of the event.

He said Mr Gorman had moved the car and left the key in the ignition before returning indoors. Almost immediately, a thief walked past a higher value car with an open door and the key in the ignition and took the car Mr Gorman had moved.

The manager did not conduct an investigation into the theft of the car and when the gardaí decided to take no further action, he was happy for Mr Gorman to return to work.

The tribunal found the company erred when it did not investigate for itself the circumstances surrounding the theft of a car, having decided to suspend Mr Gorman. In addition, it did not abide by a requirement to consult with staff after taking over the company.


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