Watford Employment Tribunal announced that the dismissal of Mr Rawal was unfair. The court explained that “the predominating reasons behind the claimant’s dismissal were his union activities” and a “poor relationship” with his line manager Simon Madday.
However, the tribunal rejected Rawal’s claims of race discrimination under the Equality Act of 2010.
Royal Mail Dismissed Rawal on a Complaint:
Mr Rawal, a postal worker who was employed by Royal Mail as a delivery and collection driver since 2000 had a clean disciplinary record.
The tribunal also heard that Rawal had multiple positions during his employment at Royal Mail such as a health and safety officer, branch editor of the Communication Workers Union (CWU), and deputy safety area representative for the North Home Countries of the CWU branch.
Mr Rawal was filmed urinating by a member of the public and was later dismissed by Royal Mail for gross misconduct in November 2017.
Royal Mail received a customer complaint in September 2017 which including dashcam footage of Rawal allegedly relieving himself. “It was disturbing to see a person doing such act on the street, particularly someone belonging to a large, popular, and official company like Royal Mail,” the complaint issued in a statement.
Rawal claimed his union activities “brought him into conflict with his direct line manager, Maddy who did not like him questioning Royal Mail practices.”
Maddy told the tribunal that he referred Rawal’s case to another line manager, Vicky Dunkley.
Dunkley dismissal Rawal without notice and cited that the reason for dismissal was the urination in a public place. Rawal appealed against the decision but this was upheld.
Evidence Against Royal Mail In Tribunal Hearing:
The tribunal heard a recording of a discussion between Dunkley and Marshall who was a note taker in Rawal’s disciplinary hearing in which it said ““Just sack him. I can’t be bothered with it. It’s boring, all this stuff. Just tell him, look, he done it. We know he done it. Just sack him.”
Rawal also named at least 12 colleagues who had been caught urinating in public and in some cases in customer’s gardens had not been dismissed.
One postal worker admitted to the tribunal that “postmen urinate in public all the time”, while another employee said “there was not a single individual who had never caught short of the facilities and urinated in a public place while doing his job for a long time.”
Tribunal’s Decision & Reward:
Judge Skehan concluded that Rawal was unfairly dismissed and added “public urination is not an unusual matter that the [Royal Mail] must deal with”.
Rawal was awarded £37,720.98 was made up of a basic award of £8,068.50 for unfair dismissal and a compensatory award of £29,652.48.
The tribunal dismissed a separate claim for racial discrimination made by Rawal.