November 15, 2021 - Workplace Misconduct

Crossing the Line: Hospitality, Gifts, and Unfair Dismissal

Mr D Thompson v Informatica Software Ltd

In a recent appeal at the EAT an individual (the “appellant”), who had been a senior employee of the employer (ISL), was found to have been fairly dismissed for gross misconduct after authorising payment of ~$5,400 to cover the cost of a golf trip for a senior public sector client in California. The appellant had breached ISL’s Code of Business Conduct, Global Travel and Expense, and Anti-Corruption and Compliance Policies (the “Policies”). Among other things, the Policies placed a limit on gift and entertainment expenses of $150, above which approval would be required, and set out clear lines for such approvals. As a global company, ISL’s Anti-Corruption and Compliance Policy expressly referred to both the U.S. Foreign and Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) and the UK Bribery Act 2010 (the “Bribery Act”). The statement of principles in the Policies noted that the Anti-Corruption Policy and supporting Guidelines were adopted to facilitate both ethical and legal compliance with obligations under the FCPA, the Bribery Act, “and other anti-bribery laws and regulations” in other countries. The appellant had signed and accepted an affirmation every three months that he would read and abide by ISL’s policies (including the Policies), and also undertook an annual certification and online training that included training on these Policies.

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