An HR advisor has won more than £5000 after he was sacked for complaining about only getting three chicken nuggets for lunch.
Steven Smith was left “shocked” and “disillusioned” at the size of the £1.99 portion he was handed in the office canteen, an employment tribunal heard.
When he queried why others were getting four or five nuggets, he said he felt “antagonised” when he was told he could get three more for an extra 99p.
The then 30-year-old told the dinner lady “if I wanted a happy meal, I would go to McDonalds” before pushing the meal back towards her and leaving the canteen.
The woman said the incident in September 2019 left her “‘almost afraid to come into work”.
She complained about his behaviour and Smith was later sacked for gross misconduct after the company found he “acted violently”.
But the tribunal has concluded he was unfairly dismissed as the matter was not investigated properly by bosses and he will now be awarded £5181.60.
The hearing was told Smith began working for Teleperformance Limited, a company which offers support to clients such as energy companies, in the human resources department based in Airdrie in November 2016.
After two disciplinary hearings, one of which discussed the allegation he had “assaulted” the canteen assistant, Smith was sacked for his conduct in October 2019.
But a tribunal – held remotely – concluded the company’s investigation “fell outwith the range of responses open to a reasonable employer”.
Did you know you can keep up to date with the latest news by signing up to our daily newsletter?
We send a morning and lunchtime newsletter covering the latest headlines every day.
We also send coronavirus updates at 5pm on weekdays, and a round up of the week’s must-read stories on Sunday afternoons.
Signing up is simple, easy and free.
You can pop your email address into the sign up box above, hit Subscribe and we’ll do the rest.
Alternatively, you can sign up and check out the rest of our newsletters here.
It noted he had a medical condition which causes his face to go red.
The panel concluded: “The investigation that was carried out was one that no employer acting fairly and reasonably on the facts of this case would have carried out.”