Keroche to pay former employee Sh3.4 million for wrongful dismissal

Keroche Breweries has been ordered to pay a former employee Sh3.4 million for wrongful dismissal.

Matthew Omondi claimed he was fired as head of operations after the company told him that he dispatched beverages that did not align with their guidelines.

“Without any contrary evidence to that of the claimant, I find the Claimant was unfairly terminated for lack of due process and as provided for under section 45 (2) of the Employment Act 2007,” said Justice Hellen Wasilwa.

Omondi said that he worked for the Naivasha-based brewery for two years as the head of packaging before he was promoted to head of logistics in July 2021.

He was later promoted to head of operations where he earned a monthly salary of Sh350,000 until he was fired on December 4, 2021.

Omondi told court that he was suspended on November 18, 2021, on allegations that he dispatched beverages against the company's dispatch guidelines.

He was then served with a show-cause letter on December 1.

Omondi alleged that he was hurriedly invited to a disciplinary meeting without allowing him representation or giving him notice to prepare which subjected him to a hearing without due procedure.

He said that he was never told why he was fired.

Omondi claimed that after the hearing he was not afforded any appeal mechanism.

He submitted that the meeting with the Human Resource Officer seemed like a fact-finding mission and thereafter he was called to the CEO's office, where he was fired.

Omondi said he was informed that his terminal dues were Sh503,000 but he has never gotten the money.

He told court the hearing was presided over by the Head of Human Resource and Administration who asked him several questions but never gave him a chance to defend himself.

Keroche did not file a response or enter an appearance.

Omondi argued that his dismissal was premeditated due to the computation of the terminal dues which included the November and December salary.

“It is clear he was served with a letter on December 3, 2021 to appear for disciplinary hearing on the same day at 11 o’clock.  This did not accord the claimant any fair hearing,” said Justice Wasilwa. 

The Judge ordered the company to pay the costs of the suit and issue Omondi with a certificate of service

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