Wagamama waiter who filmed himself snorting cocaine loses unfair dismissal case against Dublin restaurant
A man who filmed himself snorting cocaine on Snapchat, while wearing a t-shirt from the Dublin restaurant in which he worked, has lost his claim for unfair dismissal.
The Irish Times reports that the Employment Appeals Tribunal found against James Boyle, from Knocklyon Avenue, Dublin, last week.
Mr Boyle lost his job as a waiter at Dublin city centre’s Wagamama restaurant in 2014 after his employer learned he had shared a Snapchat video, a short clip which is automatically deleted from the recipient’s app after it is viewed, with friends and co-workers in August of that year.
In the video, Mr Boyle could be seen taking cocaine in a bathroom while wearing a t-shirt bearing the Wagamama logo, the tribunal heard.
Mr Boyle was considered a competent and well-liked employee, the tribunal found.
There appeared to have been “a culture of going out and socialising among the workforce” and the employer described his staff as “close”.
The tribunal said the man's admission that he had sent the Snapchat was to be commended, but there was dispute over whether the video had been filmed inside the restaurant.
The employer argued that he had taken the Snapchat during his shift, and proceeded to call Mr Boyle to a meeting where he told him he could resign, with “some dignity and some privacy and a reference”, or face a series of disciplinary procedures.
Although the tribunal accepted that Mr Boyle’s employer was anxious about his employee using drugs at all, let alone at work, it said that the meeting had not been conducted in a proper manner with regard to normal practices.
While the tribunal may not approve of the choice of two options the employer offered to Mr Boyle, between resignation and disciplinary process, it accepted that he had been motivated by his concern for the employee.