Employers put on notice over arbitrary sacking of mothers
SEE ALSO :Uhuru: Odek was a gifted legal mindBut when her managing director left, the company brought in Prashant Singh as chief human resource officer. Mr Singh, according to court documents, demamded that Ogoudjobi produces evidence that she had been allowed to work from home. She had developed complication during delivery and had had to travel to her home country, France, for treatment. Her new boss is said to have informed her that the time she had taken off during her maternity leave was unauthorised and that the salary for that period was to be withheld. Further, the Francophone HR team was to be relocated to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Ogoudjobi, who had been employed on permanent terms, was asked to resign but rejected, only for her employer to purport to terminate her contract on the basis that she had been hired on a fixed term contract that was to end on July 11, 2014.
SEE ALSO :Race to replace Kisumu speaker kicks offWhen she resisted, the employer terminated her contract on account of redundancy on August 21, 2014. Aggrieved by the decision, she sued the company at the Employment and Labour Relations Court. Judge Hellen Wasilwa ruled in her favour. The firm then moved to the Court of Appeal. Last Friday, three appellate judges ruled the relationship between the woman and the company was cordial but appeared to have changed when she gave birth. Redundancy claims Judges Martha Koome, Hannah Okwengu and Sankale Ole Kantai said Ogoudjobi’s new boss made a determined decision to have her leave employment.
SEE ALSO :Kisumu Speaker in new bid to save job“The process was wrong and in the event, we come to the conclusion that the respondent was entitled to compensation,” reads part of the judgment. In another case, a security guard’s employment was terminated on account of redundancy when she was on maternity leave. Mercy Nabea’s maternity leave had been approved by her employer, Malindi Management Strategy Limited, and she was to proceed on December 1, 2017. But while on maternity leave, she received a letter terminating her services. She was offered Sh65,000 as her terminal dues, an amount she declined to take. She then sued the company in April 2018. The company told the Employment Court that although Mercy was declared redundant while on maternity leave, she was paid three months salary and given a two-month notice. It said a number of other employees were declared redundant alongside her.
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