Casino worker awarded €36k for unfair dismissal over pregnancy

A Limerick casino has been ordered to pay €36,000 to a former croupier for wrongful dismissal after the Employment Appeals Tribunal ruled she was fired after becoming pregnant.

The Fitzpatrick Club, at Perry Square, Glenworth St, Limerick, was criticised for operating crude and defective procedures in the manner it dismissed Ayalamba Chocken, of Moyross.

Ms Chocken claimed she was sacked from her job as a croupier at the casino a few months after telling her manager in Dec 2009 that she was pregnant.

However, the casino denied the allegations and said it had issued several oral and written warnings to Ms Chocken about her conduct at work.

In Feb 2010, there was an incident in the casino when one of the club’s security officers had to eject a man suspected of cheating at a table operated by Ms Chocken.

She was called to the manager’s office following the meeting and given a written warning — the only one she received while working at the club.

Ms Chocken, originally from Mauritius, said she was not informed of any right of appeal, or of the consequences of receiving any further warnings.

A formal general manager admitted he had discussed with another staff member whether Ms Chocken had been acting in collusion with the customer.

However, the EAT ruled that the Fitzpatrick Club did not use fair or satisfactory procedures in the manner it handled Ms Chocken’s dismissal.

It claimed gross misconduct against Ms Chocken had not been proven and only one incident of alleged cheating had been raised against her, which had not been fully investigated by the casino.

The EAT found unanimously that her dismissal was wholly or mainly related to her pregnancy. It concluded that the club’s procedures were “defective and could be said to be crude”.


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