A BAKERY employee who was fired for urinating into containers and placing them back into the kitchen drawers has won an unfair dismissal tribunal.
The female staff member pocketed €25,336.08 in compensation after the court in Barcelona ordered the company to either hand over the sum or rehire her.
The Catalan court ruled that her privacy had been violated when she was caught red handed on secret cameras that the staff did not know about.
The company fired her in October 2018 after she was filmed repeatedly squatting down and filling bowls with her pee while unattended in the food production area.
She would then lightly rinse them in the sink and place them back among the clean items for use in the preparation of bread and pastries.
Her behaviour was captured on a security camera hidden in an area designated for the staff to get changed in the Cafe de la Estacion in Barcelona’s main train station.
Neucroissant, the owner of the cafe, informed the employee in a registered letter that she had been fired for ‘breach of the contractual good faith and abuse of trust in the performance of work.’
In the letter, the company claimed that they had placed a camera in the production area due to suspicions arising from ‘inventory differences and discrepancies in cash.’
However, they claimed that what they had actually seen shocked them much more.
Neucroissant decided to hire a private investigator firm that August which managed to confirm what the employee was getting up to when she thought no one was looking.
She received the dismissal letter while she was on sick leave due to another unspecified workplace incident.
Outraged at her treatment, the worker filed a complaint with the Labour and Social Security Inspection. She alleged that she was dismissed during her sick leave and did not receive documentation related to her disability and unemployment benefits.
The court ruled that her dismissal was unfair, but not for the arguments she put forward.
Instead, they decided the company had violated her privacy by filming her without her knowledge using hidden cameras.
After losing an appeal, Neucroissant preferred to pay out the compensation rather than rehire the employee.
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