High Court Rules on Employee Fired for Carrying Company Phone Home

  • Employment and Labor Relations Court on Monday ruled against a petition filed against Medimart Health Ltd by a former employee.

    Justice Linnet Ndolo ruled that the petition filed by George Otieno, who was a pharmacist with the company, had no basis.

    Otieno had filed the petition in 2013 seeking compensation of Ksh 400,000 from the medical company in regards to the unlawful termination following claims that he carried the company's phone home for personal use.

    Judge Linet Ndolo

    "The court finds the claimant’s claim for unlawful termination of employment has no basis in law and is dismissed.

    "The claimant, having been on probation at the time of termination, was only entitled to seven days’ notice.

    "Similarly, he was only entitled to prorata leave for the four months of service,” stated Ndolo.

    Medimart, on its part, argued that Otieno was sacked before the expiration of his probation period thus had no right to claim that his termination was illegal.

    The company produced a list before the court of unsanctioned calls made by Otieno, where it showed that he took the company phone home on October 22 and November 8 in 2013.

    According to the company, all employees were warned against using the phone after it incurred a huge bill due to the unauthorised calls made.

    "The claimant was given time to explain himself. Further, the claimant had been issued with prior verbal and written warnings," argued the medical company.

    Medimart Pharmacy Ltd

    Based on the ruling made, Otieno was entitled to a compensation of Ksh 14,000 which covered both the seven days he was working while still on probation and leave allowance for the seven days he had worked.