An office boss wrongly portrayed as “an employee from hell” has been awarded just under €160,000 for her unfair dismissal.

It is one of the highest awards ordered by the Workplace Relations Commission after the sacking last July.

It was claimed the woman provided unstinting loyalty to the family-run drugs firm for more than 30 years.

However, her work-life suffered after her boss died and his wife took an active role in the company.

The adjudication officer said: “It is simply not credible the complainant turned into the employee from hell as submitted by the respondent having given 30 years of unimpeachable service to the point at which it is alleged she acted in such an offensive and reprehensible manner”.

Michael Hayes added the firm should pay the woman “€159,705 in compensation”.

No parties were named in the ruling and the claimant was given the award under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 which penalises employers who unfairly dismiss staff.

The employee said she helped the widow of her late boss in running the firm but “despite best efforts she found her working relationship with the now major shareholder difficult”.

She said shared her misgivings with the manager’s director son but no action was forthcoming.

The woman added due to the unhappy working environment and the effect on her health she had no alternative but to lodge a formal
grievance, which included complaints of a bullying nature and safety issues.

The woman was dismissed by letter on July 11 and her employer claimed she was not penalised under health and safety laws but rather as a consequence of a breakdown in the relationship with her boss.

The firm told hearing “the employer, in the person of the principal and her sons, was deeply frustrated with the claimant’s behaviour and attitude
to work”.

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