Woman fired after she put own money in shop's till and forged receipts
A Dublin woman who worked at a Woodies hardware store in Coolock was unfairly dismissed after she lost the "trust and confidence" of her bosses, an Employment Appeals Tribunal has heard.
Geraldine Pender (59), from Donaghmede, is taking a case against Woodies DIY stores after she was dismissed almost two years ago, having worked for the company for more than eight years.
Adrian Tyrell, executive regional manager at the hardware chain, said the chief cashier in the Coolock store was dismissed for "breaching the trust and confidence" of the company after she put €30 of her own money in the shop's safe and falsified customer information to balance the tills at the end of the night.
She decided to put her own money in because she did not want a discrepancy in the book "to be a fuss for the person on duty the next day to sort out".
On the night in question Ms Pender instructed a subordinate member of staff to help her fish receipts out of a bin in the store.
She then forged the names and addresses of customers on the receipts, as signing a receipt is the policy of the store when returning goods.
While on holiday Ms Pender suffered a minor stroke and was on sick leave from her job.
In that time the junior member of staff came forward to the company regarding the falsification of the receipts, which resulted in a disciplinary hearing for the claimant for gross misconduct upon her return to work.
Both the claimant and appellants were satisfied that Ms Pender had indeed falsified the information on the receipts and placed her own money in the safe to balance the tills, but did not do so for personal gain.
Tiernan Doherty from Ibec represented Woodies and said that although €30 was a small amount of money, Ms Pender had given a false record of the company's stock by issuing false receipts and had hence broken the trust of her employer.
Blaithin Morris, of Barron Morris solicitors, said on behalf of the claimant that she was treated unfairly in the disciplinary hearing chaired by Mr Tyrell and her bosses "did not give enough weight to her complaints".
After the disciplinary hearing Ms Pender had an appeal hearing.
Following the appeal hearing Woodies offered Ms Pender a lower position as a cashier in the Swords store, with the move not effecting her salary, but Ms Pender claimed she could not accept because she cannot drive.
The Employment Appeals Tribunal tribunal will make a decision on the matter at a later date.