Employment tribunal

Bus driver loses unfair dismissal claim over hand gesture

A National Express bus driver who made a rude gesture at a female motorist has lost his case for unfair dismissal at an Employment Tribunal.

Ross McMahon was sacked by National Express Dundee after CCTV footage showed him flashing his lights at a Volkswagen which had blocked him at a bus stop.

The footage then showed the bus driver making a rude gesture with his right hand.

The female driver made a formal complaint to the company and Mr McMahon was sacked for serious misconduct which was upheld at an appeal.

Mr McMahon, who had been at the company for 20 years, instructed a solicitor and lodged a claim at the Employment Tribunal for unfair dismissal.

He accepted responsibility for the gesture but claims it was out of character and he was provoked.

Mr McMahon told the tribunal it was “momentary madness” and he offered to write a letter of apology to the female motorist who was so upset by the gesture she reported it immediately.

A solicitor representing National Express Dundee insisted Mr McMahon’s behaviour was at the “extreme end of the scale” and had damaged the firm’s reputation.

Employment judge Ian McFatridge said Mr McMahon had behaved in a “completely outrageous way”.

He said: “The gestures used were disgusting and the incident was prolonged over many seconds.

“The claimant flashed his lights and drove his bus right up behind the complainer’s car in an intimidating way.

“He clearly intended the complainer to see the signs that he was making and to be disgusted and upset by them.”

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