Flight attendant accused of harassing Jedward loses case

A Ryanair flight attendant accused of harassing pop duo Jedward on board by asking them for their autographs has lost her case against the airline for constructive dismissal.

Karolina Jabczuga lost her case at the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT), following her 2012 resignation.

In evidence outlined over four days in Dublin, the tribunal heard Ms Jabczuga, on a flight from Dublin to Manchester on Christmas Eve 2009, approached John and Edward Grimes and asked for their autographs.

Ms Jabczuga was aware that, per the company manual, cabin crew were not to talk to celebrity passengers.

A Polish national, Ms Jabczuga was subsequently told by BM, her base supervisor, she had harassed the twins and was not to do so again. The EAT recorded that there was no complaint from the Grimes brothers.

The EAT found two years later, Jedward were again on board a flight “and, despite Ms Jabczuga counselling against it, some members of the crew approached the passengers, both during and after the flight, and had photographs taken with them. No action was taken against any of these crew members”.

Ms Jabczuga wrote to the Ryanair European bases manager, Emer O’Callaghan about the differing treatment that she and her colleagues received in relation to approaching the celebrities.

The letter was dated December 4, 2011, but it was not given to Ryanair until July 18, 2012. The EAT stated that “this was well outside the time delimited in the grievance procedure for the raising of grievances”.

Ms Jabczuga also had a grievance in relation to a Ryanair captain making a report about her in the manner in which she opened the cockpit door to allow the captain re-entry.

However, the EAT said on foot of evidence provided by Ryanair, it was satisfied Ms Jabczuga was not unfairly overlooked for promotion.

On September 29, 2012, she tendered her resignation, citing “discrimination, bullying and harassment in the workplace”, as the reason.

In its determination, the EAT stated: “It seems clear that the claimant was becoming increasingly frustrated in her employment and, in particular, with her lack of promotion. It would appear that the captain incident was the catalyst that led to her resignation.” The EAT stated Ms Jabczuga failed to fully engage with and exhaust the grievance procedure available to her.

It said the claim pursuant to the Unfair Dismissals Acts failed.


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