Store worker who sold 30 designer lipsticks to one customer and was found with €2,000 in envelope rightfully dismissed, court rules

Store worker who sold 30 designer lipsticks to one customer and was found with €2,000 in envelope rightfully dismissed, court rules

A store worker who sold 30 designer lipsticks to a single customer and was later found to have €2,000 in an envelope was rightfully dismissed, it was ruled today.

Zheng Guo, who worked as a Christian Louboutin brand ambassador for luxury retail firm Puig, was sacked after breaking his employer’s six-unit policy on selling the sought-after cosmetic.

Puig said Mr Guo was asked to explain an envelope of €2,000 he was given by a customer. He initially could not remember it but later recalled he used €850 to buy a Macmillan Parka jacket.

The company claimed his actions amounted to gross misconduct and as a result all trust and confidence was destroyed thus rendering the continuation of the employment relationship impossible.

Puig also stated that at the time of the lipstick incident Mr Guo was on a formal written warning for failing to follow the correct sales procedures for discounts for staff and customers.

The WRC heard Mr Guo worked for Puig at an unnamed major department store here and that most of Puig’s customers here were Chinese and Chinese tourists.

He stated that this contributed to approximately 80% of the company’s performance in Ireland. Puig is a third generation family-owned fashion and fragrance business headquartered in Barcelona and last year recorded sales of €1.53bn globally and the brands it sells include Nina Ricci, Paco Rabanne, Jean Paul Gaultier, Dries Van Noten, Christian Louboutin, Antonio Banderas, Shakira and Benetton.

Mr Guo was employed by Puig as a ‘Loubi’ ambassador in May 2017 and paid €2,376 gross per month.

Store worker who sold 30 designer lipsticks to one customer and was found with €2,000 in envelope rightfully dismissed, court rules

Puig alleged that Mr Guo breached a company policy of selling more than six units of Christian Louboutin lipstick on October 4 2018 to a single customer in one transaction when he sold 30 units to this customer.

In evidence at the WRC, Mr Guo did not accept that he was involved in anything illegal.

He claimed most staff used a process of splitting transactions to overcome the six-unit policy.

Mr Guo said he was one of the Puig’s best sales assistants at the major department store and that he faced sales pressures every day as the brand was a high-end luxury product.

He was concerned about his reputation in view of the allegations which led to his dismissal.

Mr Guo told the WRC hearing that he wants to have his good name and reputation restored.

Workplace Relations Commission Adjudicator John Harraghy ruled the action of Puig UK Ltd in dismissing Zheng Guo for gross misconduct was within the range of reasonable responses open to it.

Mr Harraghy also ruled that substantial grounds existed to justify Mr Guo’s dismissal on November 15, 2018.

Want the latest breaking news and daily headlines delivered straight to you? Never miss a thing by signing up to our email updates here.

Every day we'll send you a round-up of the latest news, sport and entertainment all in one handy place.

For a more personalised browsing experience, download our free app for Android here or Apple here.