A manager in a luxury four-star hotel who was sacked after she was accused of selling jobs in the hotel has been awarded €18,000 in compensation for unfair dismissal.
Viktoria Beluiniene, who had been promoted to accommodation supervisor at Killashee House Hotel in Co Kildare, denied she had taken €300 from staff for their jobs.
Beluiniene also denied she bullied staff and that she was drinking on the job. She said sometimes she would bring in cans of beer for her own consumption after work or if she was going on to a party.
The complaints were made by staff working under Beluiniene, who alleged that she bullied them and treated non-Lithuanian staff badly.
One assistant said Beluiniene constantly spoke to her in Lithuanian or Russian and she could not understand her. The assistant claimed one day in the presence of guests, Beluiniene called her lazy and asked her if she was on drugs.
Another assistant said she treated all Polish staff badly and called them stupid.
Another assistant alleged she was "aware that some staff had paid the respondent [Beluiniene] the sum of €300 for their jobs."
The hotel's HR manager said he was "shocked" at the claims and believed the "whole accommodation department was in chaos and staff were petrified and anxious".
When questioned by hotel management, Beluiniene explained she had been asked by individuals to prepare CVs and recommend them for work in the hotel.
But she told the tribunal she "never asked for payment".
While the hotel had no cause for complaint about Beluiniene's work, it decided to dismiss her for gross misconduct.
But the tribunal felt the situation was not as extreme as described by the hotel's HR manager. "There was no compelling evidence the respondent [Beluiniene] received monies for getting employment from co-employees as it is accepted that the respondent was not interviewing and selecting staff," it said.
The tribunal did not believe either that "holding alcohol on one occasion in advance of an evening out was a sackable offence".
The tribunal added it had concerns about the manner in which the hotel conducted its investigation and ruled the dismissal unfair.