Teachers who were sacked after going on maternity seek justice

Sharon Nyangule and Caren Mbuya Board of Management (BoM) teachers at Mugai Secondary in Malava constituency, Kakamega who are disputing their termination saying it was illegal. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard ]

Two teachers have sued for unfair dismissal after they were let go while on maternity leave.

Caren Mbuya and Sharon Nyangule, who were hired by the Board of Management (BoM) of Mugai Secondary School in Malava, Kakamega County, are suing acting school head Gaudencia Masinde Munyole, the BoM, and the Parents Teachers Association chairperson.

"We proceeded on maternal leave on October 18 and October 28 last year, whereupon the school head, who is also acting principal Mrs Munyolo, unlawfully and without any notice sacked us," Ms Mbuya and Ms Nyangule say in their court papers.

"The school, therefore, did not pay us salary for the months of October, November and December," the suit further says.

In their lawsuit filed in the Kakamega Chief Magistrate's Court, the women say that as they were preparing to deliver and resume duties "we were shocked to receive phone calls from the acting principal terminating us from duty without payment."

They say that losing their jobs caused them severe financial hardships.

Ms Mbuya and Ms Nyangule, who were employed on a salary of Sh12,000 per month in 2019 and 2022, respectively, said they had been executing their assignment diligently until their time to give birth came.

They argue that Mrs Munyolo was aware of their due date, and they fail to understand why she sacked them. "We were never issued with a show-cause letter, a notice, or anything to warrant the unlawful termination."

The women are seeking orders to be reinstated "to a job they love" and payment of their dues pending hearing and determination of the case.

They also seek general damages for loss of income in the months they were barred from working.

The case will be heard on May 10.