Dunn v Estee Lauder Cosmetics Ltd: EAT 8 Oct 2013

Abusive and threatening e-correspondence accompanied an application to an Employment Tribunal for unpaid wages, where the basis for claiming underpayment was never clearly set out, and when the matter was heard evidence as to how the employer had calculated payments was not challenged, although assertions were made by the Claimant’s representative in an unspecific manner about the propriety of the payments. The Employment Judge rejected the claims, and awarded costs. An appeal alleged that the EJ had behaved unprofessionally and was accompanied by abusive and threatening emails against the employer and its lawyers. Though giving a clear warning as to costs, HHJ Shanks allowed the claim to proceed so that the Respondents could respond to the allegations, and the EJ comment. After they had done, and some two weeks before the appeal, it was withdrawn. But the Respondent then asked for costs. The Claimant asked that this be considered at an oral hearing, for which she then failed to turn up though it was found she or her representative knew of it, and it was proper to proceed. The EAT was satisfied that the conduct came within rule 34A EAT rules, and that it ought to make an order, but moderated the amount within r.34B so as to be considerably less than claimed.

Langstaff P J
[2013] UKEAT 0392 – 12 – 0810
England and Wales

Employment, Costs

Updated: 26 November 2021; Ref: scu.518724