Mr Colin Adesokan, 47, has issued a claim in the High Court for wrongful dismissal and is seeking compensation for last salary, lapsed shares, and unpaid benefits after he was sacked from his job as London regional manager in October 2013 on allegations that he had attempted to rig an internal feedback survey.
Mr Adesokan was investigated by Sainsbury’s after a ‘whistleblower’ at one of the stores under his management sent an email to the chief executive officer of the supermarket, Mr Justin King. The whistleblower claimed that Mr Adesokan’s HR Manager, Mr Stephen Briner, had sent an email on 13 June 2013 to all of the stores in the London region regarding the company’s “Talkback” scheme, a scheme where staff members are encouraged to give candid feedback on their store’s performance. It is alleged that Mr Briner’s email stated the store managers should “… focus predominantly on getting your most enthusiastic colleagues to fill in the survey” and was signed “Good luck Spencer and Colin”.
After the email was highlighted to Sainsbury’s management, an investigation was carried out into Mr Briner’s email and Mr Adesokan was subjected to a disciplinary investigation. Although Mr Adesokan claimed that he had not seen Mr Briner’s email until 24 June and insisted he had not helped Mr Briner in drafting or sending the email, Mr Adesokan was dismissed for gross misconduct in October 2013.
Mr Adesokan’s legal team has now issued a claim in the High Court for wrongful dismissal. The case is ongoing.
Neither Mr Adesokan nor Sainsbury’s appear to have commented on the ongoing court case.
Chris Hadrill, an employment solicitor at Redmans Solicitors, commented on the case: “Wrongful dismissal cases focus upon whether the former employer was legally entitled to summarily dismiss the employee for gross misconduct and thereby not pay the employee the pay that he would have received for his notice period. We will have to wait and see what happens with this court case.”