Case Study Two: ‘Laura’: The Effect of Fees Upon the Employment Tribunal Process

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Laura worked for a retail company for six years before she was suspended over an alleged incident which she denied, providing evidence to support her innocence. However, when she learned that there was a fee to be paid for submitting a claim, and for holding a hearing, this was a ‘gamble’ she felt unable to take. Laura worked in a large supermarket chain for more than six years. A store security guard filmed Laura on CCTV going to her car during her break. He claimed she was taking illegal drugs. Laura states that she was taking a hay fever remedy. After returning to work from being in her car, Laura was approached by a manager and informed that she was suspended. She asked the reason for this and was told it was due to the incident that happened earlier in the evening. At the time, Laura did not know what incident was being referred to. The next day she received a letter from her employer informing her that she had been suspended because she was working under the influence of illegal drugs. Laura vehemently denied she had been taking illegal drugs. She contacted her employer and offered to have a drug test taken immediately, as it was still within the appropriate time period that would make this valid. The employer declined her offer. Laura then had her own test taken, which showed that she had not been under the influence of illegal drugs. Laura had a disciplinary meeting.

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