An electrician involved in a legal battle with a flower firm in Naivasha wants it ordered to pay him Ksh 9 million for unfair dismissal.
David Njite filed a suit at the Employment and Labor Relations Court in Nakuru and claims that he was employed by Rainforest Farmlands on permanent and pensionable basis in September 2014.
However, he claims he was sacked on April when he returned to work after two weeks of isolation after contracting Covid-19.
The company in defense said that in a disciplinary meeting held on April 6, 2021, and attended by Human Resource Manager, General Manager, Regional Technical Representative and Njite; it said that it had satisfactorily proven issues of laxity and negligence agaisnt him.
Reports say that the electrician was accused of failing to maintain an electric fence to the required standards, failing to reconcile electrical items sent for repairs, delaying to recover items from repair suppliers among others.
A letter signed by General Manager Camilo Serrano showed that Njite was ordered to vacate the staff quarters within 14 days. Njite, however, claims that the reasons for termination of his employment were outside his job description
“In April 2021, the claimant fell sick, and upon tests, it was confirmed that he had contracted Covid-19. That meant he would isolate from work. Upon getting back to work, he was issued with a termination letter,” read a part of the petition .
Njite accuses the Regional Technical Representative of convincing the General Manager to terminate his employment and that the reason for termination was baseless.
Njite said that a plot to terminate his employment started when he was issued a memo on March 14. It directed him to return all company tools to their store, and he complied.
He added that as he was returning the tools, the Regional Representative, without notice, searched his office and collected some machines, terming them tools not returned.
The firm denied allegations raised against it and claimed the termination of Njite’s employment was fair and based on valid grounds. ” The claimant’s (Njite) sit as pleaded is misconceived and should be dismissed with cost to the respondent (flower company).” read the response.
The company claims Njite, during his employment, was given a laptop and its bag, which he did not return upon dismissal.
It further claims that Njite is liable to it for damages of Sh 100,572 for the laptop, the bag, a wireless mouse, and foregone rent of Sh 60,000 for the period he had been in illegal occupation of cottage since April. The case will be mentioned on October 19.