We report on a case that has met with much consternation amongst the HR community. But how did it come to this?
The Claimant in this case, Shannon Gleeson, a flight attendant, was given 2 sandwiches (a croquet-monsieur and a bacon baguette) by her manager during an easyJet flight. She has a nut allergy and was unable to find something suitable to eat before the flight left.
Although Ms Gleeson had been employed by easyJet for 3 years, she was subsequently pulled to a meeting to discuss having the sandwiches. She was dismissed because she had not made suitable enquiries as to whether or not they had been paid for.
The case found its way to an Employment Tribunal who held that Ms Gleeson had been wrongfully dismissed, because there was no clear cut policy that required her to insist that on a receipt (to show that the food had in fact been paid for).
The Tribunal was clearly unimpressed by the evidence given by the manager responsible for the dismissal, who said that he would refuse a cup of tea purchased by colleagues if they had not shown him a receipt for it.
The reputational damage to easyJet is obvious. To deal with situations such as this very clear policies are needed.
easyJet have since settled the claim.