The New Kenya Cooperative Creameries (New KCC) has been ordered to pay Sh3.6 million to three employees sacked in 2018 for the loss of milk worth Sh2.4 million.
Jerusha Chepwogen, Sammy Cheruiyot and Leonard Kipngeno were serving as production supervisors at the New KCC’s Sotik factory but were dismissed after an audit report found discrepancies between the amount of milk delivered and recorded in the books.
The company accused the three of deliberately manipulating and keeping inaccurate records that did not tally with the actual milk figures in the factory for six months.
“It is further the defence case that through an audit report dated July 24, 2017, the respondent discovered that the claimants deliberately manipulated the received quantities by grossly understating the resultant quantity by huge margins thereby occasioning loss to the company,” stated the court documents.
KCC says it issued the three production supervisors with a show-cause letter and later terminated their employment after its audit report revealed that 58,912 litres of milk valued at Sh2.4 million were lost under their care.
In their defence, the three argued that the termination of their employment was un-procedural since they were not issued a copy of the audit report during the disciplinary hearings.
In a judgment delivered in Nakuru, Justice Onesmus Makau found that New KCC erred by inviting the three to a disciplinary hearing without allowing them to defend themselves.
“To attend a disciplinary hearing and not get an opportunity to defend oneself is not a hearing per Section 41 of the Employment Act, 2007,” he said.
The court awarded Jerusha, Cheruiyot and Kipngeno Sh933,160, Sh933,160 and Sh1.3 million respectively for unfair termination.