Cork company employee seeks to prevent gross misconduct dismissal
A product support manager seeks various injunctions that would prevent his dismissal at a video game development company for alleged gross misconduct.
Markus Nowak claims he had “no right to respond or defend my position” when he allegedly received an ultimatum to resign or be summarily fired from Blizzard Entertainment Ireland Limited, where he has worked since 2008.
Mr. Nowak alleges that he was not told who complained about him or the dates of the alleged events and argues that his right to natural justice and due process was not respected.
In a sworn statement, Mr Nowak, who lives in Kileens, Co Cork, said he was first briefed last week during a video call with a human resources manager and legal adviser from a series allegations made against him by a number of employees.
The allegations, which he denies, range from commenting on the appearance of female employees, making sexual comments and requesting and/or sending inappropriate images from female staff.
He was allegedly told that, as there was more than one complaint, the company, which is headquartered at Blackpool Retail Park in Cork City, would not place any credibility in any response from him and therefore , there was no merit in hearing him.
During the same call, he claims, he was informed that the allegations had been investigated and his summary dismissal had been decided. His immediate resignation was offered as an alternative.
Mr Nowak said he was “in shock” after being told of the “very offensive and upsetting” allegations. When he asked for time to consider the issues, he was reportedly told that he had to decide on that call if he would step down.
He was warned that the allegations would become public if he did not resign, he said, adding: “I understood these consequences, but I informed the defendant that I could not resign under the circumstances. .”
He alleges that the company breached its own terms and conditions and, in particular, failed to comply with its own disciplinary procedure. Furthermore, he claims that the company did not conduct any proper investigation.
His solicitor, Mark Connaughton SC, told the High Court on Friday that there “is no conceivable answer” that could justify the firm’s actions vis-à-vis his client.
The case was brought before Judge Senan Allen on Friday.
The judge, on an ex parte basis, granted the plaintiff leave to serve brief notice of the motion seeking various interlocutory relief.
The case will return to court next week.