Personal assistant turned babysitter for boss child gets Sh4.8 million – Business Daily
Justice Maureen Onyango during a past court session. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG
A personal assistant who accused an executive at Bridge International of asking her to babysit her supervisor’s children has been awarded Sh4.8 million by a Labour Court in Nairobi for unlawful termination.
Justice Maureen Onyango awarded Lia Gloria Mayka $ 40,000 (Sh4.8 million) as damages after finding that the termination was premised on invalid reasons and the company failed to prove a fair procedure was followed.
She was the PA to the chief strategist and development officer of the Bridge International Academies.
“It is my view that the Respondent’s treatment of the Claimant bordered on servitude which is the highest form of human indignity. It is for this reason that I find that she is entitled to maximum compensation for the unlawful and unfair termination,” said Justice Onyango.
Ms Mayka testified that she was exploited by the company after being assigned her roles and tasks such as taking care of her supervisor’s children, a role she was not hired to perform.
She said that the childcare duties were in addition to her official roles assigned to her as per the employment contract. She said this would force her to work up to the wee hours of the night.
She maintained that she had no choice but to work as directed. Upon her appointment on September 16, 2013, she said her work was to make things easier for the company and that she was never issued any job description despite requesting the same on several occasions.
Mr Reuben Wambugu Mwangi, the company’s Managing Director, testified that due process was followed in the sacking of Ms Mayka and that the reason for termination was failure to meet targets.
On child care, he maintained that the role of providing child care was aptly communicated to Ms Mayka by her supervisor.
He stated that although there was a communication of child care, there was no confirmation of acceptance of the additional role.
The director further stated that he could not confirm whether the role was part of Ms Mayka’s job description as an Executive Assistant.
She was paid all her terminal dues at the time of separation and USD 3,333 on account of one month’s salary in lieu of notice.
Ms Mayka in her evidence said that she was also never issued a performance evaluation despite requesting the same on numerous occasions.
Further, she sought a job review as she felt her duties were not in line with the job description but none was issued.
Ms Mayka testified that she was not accorded any hearing before the termination and that she was subjected to unfair treatment by the company despite her protests.