Court awards security guard Sh140,000 for illegal termination of employment

Employment Labor and Relations Court has awarded a security guard Sh140,360 over unlawful termination of his employment by a pharmaceutical company.

Mathews Otieno Omollo had sued Temple Stores Pharmaceutical Limited claiming that his employment was terminated illegally.

Lady Justice Linet Ndolo while delivering the judgement said that the court arrived at the conclusion that the Company terminated the Omollo’s employment without justifiable cause and in violation of due procedure.

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“Flowing from the foregoing findings, I award the Claimant five months’ salary in compensation. In arriving at this award, I have taken into account the Claimant’s length of service and the Respondent’s conduct in the termination process,” said Judge.

He filed the claim on June 18, 2014 and the company responded on August 13, 2014.

Omollo stated that he was employed by the Company as a security guard, at a basic monthly salary of Sh 8,000, effective from July 11, 2010.

 On September 21, 2013, Omollo said he was instructed by the Companies Managing Director to proceed on 7 days’ leave and on reporting back to work, he was informed that his services were no longer required.

The guard contented that the termination of his employment was unjustifiable and unprocedural.

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“Upon the termination of my employment, I was not paid my terminal dues which are One month’s salary of notice Sh 12, 548 among other benefits,” said Omollo.

 In its Statement of defense dated August 7, 2014 and filed in court on August 13, 2014, the Company stated that the Omollo has never been its employee and that the documents annexed to the Statement of Claim were a forgery.

It further stated that the Omollo was an employee of a security firm and was assigned to guard the company’s premises at night.

However, most of the nights Omollo would leave his place of assignment as soon as the company staff left for the day.

One time, the Companies Managing Director, Joseph Ngera Kiama is said to have found the premises unattended at around 11PM. Kiama made a report Omollo’s employer and thereafter did not hear about him.

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The company added that it has never employed an individual as a security guard but has been sourcing security guards from established security firms.

The company witness, Joseph Ngera Kiama on the other hand testified that the Claimant worked for the Respondent as a reliever guard paid a daily rate of Sh 400.

Kiama’s testimony also contradicted crucial documents produced by the Respondent being sample letters of appointment, payslips and employment cards.

 He told the Court that the Claimant worked for 2-3 weeks but could not tell the exact period of employment.

In sum, the Court found the Respondent’s evidence contradictory and of no probative value. In the absence of any proof of the Respondent’s averments on its relationship with the Claimant, the Court invokes Section 10(7) of the Employment Act, 2007, adopts the Claimant’s testimony and finds that there was indeed an employment relationship between the parties capable to enforcement by the Court.

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“In similar vein, I adopt the Claimant’s testimony regarding the effective and termination dates as well as obtaining terms of employment,” said Judge.

The Respondent’s witness, Joseph Ngera Kiama testified that he had received information that the Claimant was not reporting to work as required.

Upon inquiry, the Claimant stated that he had a domestic problem and Kiama told him to go and sort it out. He was not given a return date.

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