Sacked worker ordered 84,700 earplugs
SACKED: Mrs Robertson worked at the Kilmalid plant
ORDER: Mrs Robertson ordered more than 80,000 earplugs
A SACKED office worker who was awarded almost £65,000 after ordering thousands of ear plugs during a company spending spree will not get her payout following an appeal.
Mary Robertson, from Dumbarton, made a string of purchases over a 10-month period while working for drinks giants Chivas Brothers including 84,700 ear plugs.
Among her other purchases were 20,000 bin bags, high visibility vests and mop heads.
It was discovered she had splashed out more than £95,000 of company money.
She was working as an engineering administrator at the company's plant in Kilmalid.
Mrs Robertson, 44, was dismissed from the Paisley-based firm in December 2008.
She was then awarded £64,815 after claiming unfair dismissal at an employment tribunal in Glasgow in 2010.
Employment judge Roderick McKenzie said at the time that due to Chivas' billion pound turnover, Mrs Robertson's actions could not be thought to have caused "significant financial damage" to the firm.
However, following another hearing in February and March, this year judge Laura Doherty overturned the ruling and claimed the dismissal was fair that Chivas had a "genuine belief" that there was financial damage as a result of Mrs Robertson's actions.
The firm appealed the victory which was upheld before a second hearing was fixed.
The hearing was told that she did not keep a record of orders or alert anyone as to what goods had been bought.
The tribunal heard that the firm's credit card guidelines recommended a monthly spending limit of £5,000.
Mrs Robertson was later the subject of an investigation after it was deemed her purchases were excessive.
She was initially suspended on full pay. At a second meeting in December 2008, Mrs Robertson denied receiving any benefit from the transactions.
She said she had taken on extra purchasing responsibilities from a former employee who had retired.
It was put to her that the earplug orders were triple that of her predecessor but she was unable to give an explanation and said that when stocks were low she ordered more.
Mrs Robertson added she bought items for the whole of the site and not just one area.
She was eventually sacked and received a letter that stated: "You ordered and paid for grossly excessive amounts of production consumables thus negligently causing significant financial damage to the company.
These actions constitute gross misconduct and it our decision that you are dismissed from your post with immediate effect."
Mrs Robertson was also told the levels of use and evidence of stock did not support her purchases.
Ms Doherty added in her judgment:"The tribunal concluded that there had been compliance with the statutory discipline procedure."
This article appeared in Dumbarton & Vale of Leven Reporter 04 Jun 12
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