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Dismissal Within the Band of Reasonableness for Breaching Smoking Ban, but Deemed Unfair Due to Investigation

posted 5 months ago

In the recent case of Darren Kiernan v Joseph Brennan Bakeries ADJ-00039331 the Complainant was dismissed for smoking in his personal van in the Respondent’s parking lot, rather than in the designated smoking shed. The Complainant referred a complaint to the Workplace Relations Commission (“WRC”) under the Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977-2015 (“the Acts”).

Facts: The Complainant was employed by the Respondent for nearly twenty years as a General Operative; from 17th July 2002 until 15th December 2021. On 12th July 2021 Mr. Joe McDonald, a Manager with the Respondent, was conducting a regular review of the CCTV in the Respondent’s car park and discovered the Complainant was smoking in his van the previous day. On 14th July, the Complainant was called from the floor to review the CCTV footage with two members of management. The allegation of smoking in his van was put to the Complainant, who confirmed he was the person seen smoking in the van. He was placed immediately on paid suspension pending a full investigation.


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