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Woman will be awarded damages after being sacked by rugby club

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A former barmaid has won her case for unfair dismissal against a rugby club which had wrongly accused her of stealing.

An Employment Tribunal found that Maesteg RFC, in Bridgend, Wales, had wrongfully dismissed Gemma Hopkins after accusing her of taking money from the till.

Although Ms Hopkins had not been charged by police, the club’s committee had elected to fire her because of allegedly “suspicious behaviour” captured on CCTV.

The ex-employee’s legal team had argued that the club’s investigation had been “unreasonable and fundamentally flawed.”

The Employment Tribunal, chaired by Judge Sian Davies, ruled in favour of Ms Hopkins.

During the hearing, which took place in Cardiff, the Tribunal was also asked to consider evidence that the bar manager had posted abusive comments about the former member of staff on Facebook.

While a claim for sexual discrimination was rejected, a complaint of unwanted conduct based on Ms Hopkins’ gender was upheld and she was awarded £6,600.

A separate hearing will consider what damages to award in relation to the successful unfair dismissal claim.

Following the conclusion of proceedings, Ms Hopkins said she was “delighted” by the outcome and felt glad that “it was all over.”