An employee fired for being drunk fought for five years only to win Sh1,000 compensation.
Each day that Daniel Mwanzau’s file was before the Labour Court in Nairobi where he sought Sh714,000, he literally earned Sh50 cents.
Mwanzau was employed by Brink Security Services as a guard sometime in 2001 but was shown the door on July 14, 2015 for being drunk at work.
Following his sacking, he sued his employer seeking Sh114,000 as damages for wrongful dismissal. He also asked the court to award him Sh494,000 as compensation for unpaid overtime for the 13 years he worked for the security firm.
The man also sought for an unpaid salary which totaled to Sh14,500 and additional Sh2,500 uniforms refund.
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In his case, Mwanzau claimed he was sacked on false allegations that he reported to work while intoxicated. He denied the alleged misconduct and contended that no test was carried out to prove he was drunk.
He also claimed he was not served with any prior notice or taken through any disciplinary hearing before the dismissal.
On cross-examination, he admitted that he received various warning letters from the company during his employment.
He also admitted that he took alcohol on July 13, 2014, but denied that he was intoxicated while on duty.
Mwanzau watered down his case as he then admitted that he wrote an apology saying he would not repeat the offence.
Brink’s Human Resources Manager Raymond Nzioka testified on behalf of the firm. He explained that Mwanzau habitually absconded work and often showed up while drunk. He added that his dismissal was justified and as such he was not entitled to any compensation as pleaded in his claim.
Nzioka, however, admitted Mwanzau’s supervisor did not use an alcohol blower to ascertain whether he was drunk.
While agreeing with Brink Security Services, Justice Onesmus Makau ruled that Mwanzau was given an opportunity to answer to the allegations by his employer and heard. Justice Makau, however, found that he was entitled to Sh2,400 refund for his uniform.
Meanwhile, Mwanzau did not fully clear while leaving the company. This cost him Sh1,380 which he ought to refund to his former employer.