A male child care worker who was wrongfully accused of sexual misconduct with a child in his care has had his claim for constructive dismissal rejected by the Employment Appeals Tribunal.
John Joyce of Bishopstown, Co Cork, told the tribunal that he was employed by the Brothers of Charity in Lota, Glanmire, Co Cork, to care for handicapped males.
In August 2006, Joyce said that after he refused to allow a security man leave early, the security man made a complaint in writing "alleging sexual misconduct by the claimant [Joyce] with one of the service users in his care".
Joyce was suspended on full pay while the allegation was investigated, which after two months cleared Joyce, who was then invited to return to work.
But Joyce said that he found the situation "unbearably stressful" and sought assurances that "he would not be exposed to similar false accusation in the future".
Joyce also wanted an investigation into the security man's "malicious complaint" which ultimately resulted in the security man's dismissal.
Supporting Joyce's claim, a woman doctor who taught Joyce in UCC said he was "scrupulous, meticulous and a perfectionist".
The Brothers argued that the investigation was carried out in accordance with procedure and they had done all they could to convince Joyce to return to work.
"Whereas it is most regrettable than an honest and conscientious care provider was wrongly accused of serious misconduct, nonetheless the tribunal is satisfied the respondent [Brothers of Charity] acted reasonably in all the circumstances" the tribunal ruled.