L0EL001: Identify And Review Any THREE Relevant Employment Law Issues That Have Arisen In The Context Of Dakota’s Employment With Infinity Ltd:

Infinity Ltd is a large multinational consultancy company, with a head office in Dublin. Dakota works in the Finance Department of Infinity Ltd as a Business Analyst. She has been working in the same position for the past 9 years. Although her performance reviews have been consistently good, she has never been promoted.

Six months ago, following her return to work after giving birth to her third child, she questioned her manager about potential promotion opportunities. Her manager informed her that he had not considered her suitable for promotion as she has spent too much time on maternity leave in the past few years, and as a consequence, she was not viewed as a reliable worker for the purpose of promotion. After this meeting with her manager, she made a complaint to Infinity Ltd’s HR Department.

Following this complaint, her manager started giving Dakota unrealistic deadlines. Because she was unable to meet them, she was given a does not meet expectations rating in her latest performance appraisal. When she queried this rating, the manager told Dakota that it was his opinion that if she spent less time having babies and more time focusing on her work her performance would vastly improve.

Dakota was extremely upset by these comments and decided to raise a formal grievance with the Human Resources (HR) Manager of Infinity Ltd, Sterling. At the same time as she raised the grievance, she also notified Sterling that she was pregnant with her fourth child, and would be availing of her full maternity leave entitlements.

Following the raising of a formal grievance and notification of her pregnancy Dakota noticed that she was removed from a number of projects that she was working on, and instead moved on to another project with a New Zealand-based company. Because of the 12-hour time difference, Dakota found that she needed to work late in the evenings or early in the mornings to engage in conference calls and online meetings with the client. Arising from these late nights and early mornings, Dakota’s health deteriorated, and when she attended her doctor for her 20-week scan and check-up, her doctor noted that there was a marked increase in her blood pressure, putting her at risk of developing pre-eclampsia.

Her doctor recommended that she talk to her employer about regularising her hours of work, but when she requested a meeting with Sterling to discuss her health concerns, he informed her that any issues relating to her pregnancy were her own concern, and were in no way the responsibility of her employer. Dakota was quite shocked by Sterling’s attitude towards her and her unborn child, and when she again tried to raise her concerns to him, he informed her that if she was unable to fulfill the requirements of the job, then the company would have no option but to review her continued employment with the company.

Dakota was devastated following this meeting and the next day she failed to attend work. She has since submitted a medical certificate to the HR department, which stated that her absence was a consequence of workplace stress. Following receipt of this medical certificate Sterling contacted Dakota. Dakota told Sterling that she did not feel that she could return to her position and that she was considering resigning.

In particular, she noted that she felt very let down by Infinity Ltd as no action was taken following her original complaint. Sterling told Dakota that she should do what she considered to be in her own best interest, but that Infinity Ltd would be discontinuing the payment of her salary with immediate effect. Dakota believes that this action is in breach of Infinity Ltd’s sick leave policy, which grants employees up to 60 days of paid leave per year.

Following Dakota sending a solicitor’s letter to Infinity Ltd notifying them that any stoppage of wages would result in litigation, three weeks later Dakota received a letter notifying her that her position was being made redundant with immediate effect, arising from the loss of the contract with the New Zealand client.

Dakota is of the opinion that this redundancy was contrived to get rid of her, as there are numerous other projects that she is capable of working on, on behalf of Infinity Ltd, and she is the only employee in the entire Dublin office who was made redundant arising from the loss of this client.

  1. Identify and review any THREE relevant employment law issues that have arisen in the context of Dakota’s employment with Infinity Ltd, referring to both relevant case law and statutory provision. This evaluation should identify the issue and analyze the relevant law.
  2. Advise Dakota as to the most appropriate action to undertake in this situation, commenting specifically on the adjudication forum in this action should be raised. Examine also the law in relation to employment injunctions, and advise Dakota of the likelihood of her obtaining an injunction in this situation to restrain her dismissal based on redundancy.
  3. Assuming you were brought in as a Human Resources Consultant by Infinity Ltd, identify any FIVE actions that you would recommend that they undertake in the circumstances to mitigate their liability in respect of Dakota’s potential claim, as well as in respect of any future claims by other employees.