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No Hold on Employment Injunction for Appeal Due to Employee’s Financial Position

Introduction

In the case of O’ Donovan v Over-C Technology Ltd & Another [2020] IEHC 291 the Plaintiff, Mr O’Donovan, was dismissed from his position as CFO. The Order made by Judge Keane in this case was unusual. You can read about this judgement in last month’s newsletter using the below link:

Further Judgement

There were still some matter that were left to between the parties. In a further judgement on this case on 3rd July 2020 by Mr Justice David Keane there were still some matters that were left to be resolved between the parties. In accordance with the joint statement Chief Justice and the Presidents of each court during the Covid-19 pandemic, the parties had been invited to seek agreement on any outstanding issues, including costs of the application, failing which they were to file written submissions which would then be ruled upon remotely. There was little to no agreement between the parties and so written submissions were filed addressing a range of issues including the appropriate order on costs, the appropriate directions to facilitate an early trial and also whether it is appropriate to grant a stay on the employment injunction order, which included paying the Plaintiff for 6 months pay, pending the hearing of the appeal of that order.

Keane J issued a further judgement on these outstanding issues on 3rd July 2020 and ordered that:

  1. the Plaintiff is not entitled to the payment of a liquidated sum in the circumstances where he will already have an entitlement to whatever arrears of salary and other benefits accrued to him;

It is interesting that Keane J refused to put the case forward for case management in circumstances where the Plaintiff finds himself in such dire financial circumstances and instead refused a stay on the Order.

Take away for employers

This decision puts in doubt the ability to rely on an employee’s undertaking given to the court as to costs and/or damages incurred by the granting of an injunction in the event that the trial orders against the employee. Such undertakings are required as the judge hearing injunction applications do not hear the full case. Also, the Judge re-iterated his view that the injunction order for salary payment until the hearing of the trial should be limited to 6 months which limits expense for employers and that attraction for employees to take such applications. 

Link: https://beta.courts.ie/view/judgments/70402024-d81a-4149-a6e1-07c2a4e5aefb/a5d574e4-2680-4d01-badc-58c833cab392/2020_IEHC_327.pdf/pdf

31st July 2020

Authors: Anne O’Connell and Eva Lindsay

Anne O’Connell Solicitors

Fitzwilliam Hall

Fitzwilliam Place

Dublin 2

www.aocsolicitors.ie

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