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62-year-old Scottish barmaid sacked for assaulting a customer wins £3,500

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A 62-year-old Scottish barmaid who was sacked by the bowling club where she worked for allegedly clobbering a member has won almost £3,500 in compensation for unfair dismissal.

Mary MacDonald worked part-time at the Vale of Leven Bowling Club in Alexandria, West Dunbartonshire for 10 years until she was fired following a row during a club social event.

Apparently Ms MacDonald refused to serve the member citing a new drink licensing law. Clearly unhappy about the decision, the man noticed a 14-year-old girl sitting in the bar in violation of the "no children in the clubhouse" rule and asked Ms MacDonald: "Is it only [my] family you pick on?" The man alleges Ms MacDonald then assaulted him, but she denies this.

Following the incident, the club called a behind-closed-doors emergency meeting at which the man claiming assault was allowed to attend but Ms MacDonald was not because she was not a member.

The club members found Ms MacDonald guilty of "gross misconduct" and decided to ban her from club premises for a year. This effectively meant she could no longer work at the club as a barmaid.

A Glasgow employment tribunal ruled the club unfairly dismissed Ms MacDonald and awarded her £3,326.43 compensation.

Explaining her decision, employment judge Muriel Robison said: "No grievance or meeting or disciplinary hearing was held.

"Mrs MacDonald was not informed of what she was being accused of doing, she was given no opportunity to put her own case.

"She was given no opportunity to be accompanied at a disciplinary hearing before a decision about her employment was made."

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