Fired Mr Coconut staff seeking $53,000 for 'unfair dismissal, discrimination to pregnant woman'

Submitted by Stomper Charissa

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She said she was going to make a "big hoohaa" and she did.

A former Mr Coconut employee filed a complaint with the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM), seeking $53,000 from the company for "unfair dismissal and discrimination to pregnant woman in the workforce".

The sum is nearly 18 times her monthly salary of $3,000, according to Mr Coconut.

Stomper Charissa had contacted Stomp about her "unfair dismissal" by the food and beverage company on Jan 18.

She started working as a customer service officer at Mr Coconut on Nov 7, 2023.

Charissa, who also recounted the episode on Facebook, told Stomp : "On the chilling day of Jan 17, 2024, Mr Coconut Singapore, heartlessly terminated my employment, plunging me into a bleak abyss."

The Stomper said that she had told her manager about her "impending motherhood" the day before.

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Posted by Charissa Tan on Wednesday, 17 January 2024

"I was terminated immediately after they found out about my pregnancy," claimed Charissa.

Mr Coconut disputed this in a public statement posted on Facebook on Feb 7.

The company said: "Mr Coconut's decision to terminate her services was made on Jan 15, 2024 and in fact, a job advertisement had already been published on Jan 15, 2024 in respect of Ms Charissa Tan's role."

Jan 15 was a day before the Stomper said she told her manager about her pregnancy.

Charissa said that she was informed by a human resources representative that the reasons for her termination were her fragile health, poor job performance and the "heinous crime of having a subpar body posture at work".

She explained to Stomp: "I was taking unpaid leave due to Covid and I was still on probation. And I was having fever after that I took one day unpaid leave as well. I have the evidence.

"My job performance according to my direct manager was fine. I basically cleared my backlog within two days after I recovered from Covid because nobody else is able to cover my job scope during my leave period and my request to work from home was denied.

"One day, I was feeling really unwell at work, I was lying my head down on the table to rest. HR saw me and informed me that if I am not feeling well I should go home. It is not very nice for the bosses to see my lying down on the table. And I corrected my posture right after. Because it was near 6pm so I decided to stay and not take any more unpaid leave despite me feeling feverish."

Mr Coconut responded in its statement: "Ms Charissa Tan suggested that her job performance was satisfactory and cites an incident where she had lay her 'head down on the table to rest' because she was allegedly 'feeling really unwell'.

Dear all, we thank everyone for their patience. In relation to a recent Facebook post published by Ms Charissa Tan...

Posted by Mr Coconut Singapore on Wednesday, 7 February 2024

"Mr Coconut's investigations have revealed that Ms Charissa Tan was not just laying down on the table to rest but had propped her handphone up against her laptop screen and was watching a movie on her handphone openly in office during office hours.

"This was not during lunch hour or nearing the end of the day as alleged."

The company shared a CCTV screenshot showing one such incident on Dec 5, 2023 at around 10 am.

Mr Coconut added that the Stomper did not disclose on Facebook the part in her exchange with her direct supervisor where she said she was going to "make this a big hoohaa".

The company concluded: "Following Mr Coconut's investigations, we find no basis whatsoever to such grave allegations that Ms Charissa Tan had levelled against Mr Coconut."

Asked for a response to Mr Coconut's statement, Charissa told Stomp: "I would decline to comment as at present moment the proceedings are ongoing."

She reiterated as much in a Facebook post on Feb 7: "I'm not allowed to share what happened today at TADM (MOM) due to TADM policy for private and confidential. Unfortunately, we are unable to come to a conclusion today, and the matter has been further escalated.

"Thank you to everyone that has shown me the support and encouragement. I am coping and don't worry about me."

Im not allow to share what happened today at TADM (MOM) due to TADM policy for private and confidential. Unfortunately...

Posted by Charissa Tan on Wednesday, 7 February 2024

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