What can an Employee do who was refused an appeal of a Verbal Disciplinary Warning received by them from an Employer ?.
Professional reputation is very important and when an employee denies any allegations of wrongdoing, yet is faced with having received a verbal warning for an incident, then it may be necessary for that employee to challenge any unfairness to protect their good name.
An employer who submits a verbal warning to an employee for something, should have previously followed a fair and transparent procedural process that afforded the employee due process, fairness, and natural justice.
Many times in circumstances where allegations involving gross misconduct arise, fair procedures are not employed by employers and due process does not take place.
An employer justifiably wishes to protect their business, and are very concerned about an impact on some aspect the business due to something an employee has done, but it is nevertheless incumbent on the employer to have fair procedures in place and implement them in a step-by-step manner regarding that employee. An employee is entitled to defend an allegation.
An employee should not be left in the dark regarding allegations made. They are entitled to have the detail in relation to same, notice of any meetings about the complained of conduct etc.
What the ‘’incident’’ or alleged employee misconduct entails, notification of same in full should be provided to an employee prior to any investigation meeting, and the process for dealing with the allegations should also be outlined to the employee.
Regarding the investigation and disciplinary procedures, it is important for employers to follow company Employee Handbooks or company Disciplinary Policies and Procedures.
Industrial Relations Act 1967
If an employee considers they have been treated unfairly and that they have not received an appeal to a disciplinary sanction, or that they dispute the verbal warning from the employer from a substantive or procedural perspective, they can refer to the matter to the Workplace Relations Commission to have the matter adjudicated upon under S.13 of the above act, which states:
Where a trade dispute (other than a dispute connected with rates of pay of, hours or times of work of, or annual holidays of, a body of workers) exists or is apprehended and involves workers within the meaning of Part VI of the Principal Act, a party to the dispute may refer it to a rights commissioner.
Recommendations can be made at the Workplace Relations Commission that compensation should be paid for the reputational damage and stress caused by a flawed process, for example.
Please be advised that the above-mentioned material is intended as an overview and as a broad out-line of the topic discussed. It should not be considered as complete and comprehensive legal advice, nor act as an appropriate substitute.
Legal advice should be sought from a solicitor prior to relying on anything in this article.
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