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Thread: Got Fired without notice, any help would be greatly appreciated

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    Got Fired without notice, any help would be greatly appreciated

    My wife and I accepted a work offer from a company in Koppies in the FreeState and moved here from Port Elizabeth. Now 7 motnhs down the line we were called in and told we're fired with 2 hours notice, no hearings, warnings or procedures were followed,and no payment whatsoever including outstanding wages from the previous week. We lodged a case with the CCMA and got a date for the hearing which is 01/11/2012, needless to say they objected against the con-arb. After being fired we were harassed by them on several occasions and 17 days after being fired they show up at our door with R6k in one hand and documents stating that we will not persue the matter any further but here's the thing. On the top of the document it states that we are the employers and they the employees but the signatures at the bottom is in order. We took the money and signed the documents after noting the errors but said nothing about it as we were desperate after being without an income for 17 days.

    Can we fight this objection against the con-arb? Thing is we're moving back to Port Elizabeth and cannot afford to come back for the arbitration?

    Can give you A LOT more information about this case but it'll take too long to type.

    Any advice?

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    Diamond Member Justloadit's Avatar
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    What else was in the document you signed, besides the R6K?
    did you read the complete document and understood what you were signing?

    I am very sure that there is a clause in the document which probably has denied you any further claim by virtue of you accepting the cash.

    Have you got a copy of what you signed?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justloadit View Post
    What else was in the document you signed, besides the R6K?
    did you read the complete document and understood what you were signing?

    I am very sure that there is a clause in the document which probably has denied you any further claim by virtue of you accepting the cash.

    Have you got a copy of what you signed?
    Yes have a copy of the document, but like i said it was filled out wrong and we were desparate for the money. My other concern is can one fight the objection to the con-arb?

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    Gold Member IMHO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rsrlnel View Post
    can one fight the objection to the con-arb?
    As I understand it, no, it is an attempt to reconcile the parties without going into the details of the case, thereby saving time and effort. If it fails, it fails and the case must be heard in detail to reach a conclusion.

    In a manner, the 6k offer that was accepted, was the 'con-arb', in that the parties reached a mutual satisfactory conclusion. You can now go argue that you did not accept the offer, but what will your argument be, why did you take the money?
    ~Expenses will eat you alive! - My first Boss~

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    Platinum Member sterne.law@gmail.com's Avatar
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    You can not object to the con-arb.
    They will raise the signed agreement as a defense. It is a settlement agreement and therefor ether is no dispute and the CCMA has no jurisdiction. HOWEVER, even where there is a signed settlement agreement, it can be overcome based on numerous factors. Most pertinent is where the employee receives no benefit for relinquishing rights. In other words by virtue of the agreement, the employee merely gets what is due to him, salary and leave pay then often this points to a non genuine settlement agreement.
    You may get to settle at conciliation and you could try and style both yours and your wires matter at the same time. You were only employed for seven months so any award, if you did go to arbitration, would probably be small. You would be lucky to get more than 2, maybe 3 months.
    Anthony Sterne

    www.acumenholdings.co.za
    DISCLAIMER The above is merely a comment in discussion form and an open public arena. It does not constitute a legal opinion or professional advice in any manner or form.

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    Hi all, maybe I didnt make my point that clear, I don't want to object to the con-arb. I want a con-arb, but the employer filed a objection against the con-arb. This means that we must drive over a 1000 km to attend the arbtiration hearing if its moved to a later date. SO what I am asking is if I can make a objection againt the arbitration being moved to another date?

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    Hi rsrlnel, it is difficult to give a worthwhile opinion without seeing what you kind of document you signed.

    But consider this; there is such a thing as constructive dismissal, which is where a resignation is set aside and made a dismissal because an employee's situation was made to be intolerable. Similarly, a settlement signed under duress is no settlement, especially one that is presented after notices are filed.
    Secondly, you and your wife's cases are separate.
    Thirdly, I cannot imagine that R6k fully discharged liability towards both of you even if the dismissal was procedurally and substantively fair. Do bear in mind that substantively unfair dismissals are expensive!

    Have you in fact received notice of a new date for the CCMA hearing?

    If so, it is worth a submission. Object to the new date with reasons; cite the traveling distance and cost that it entails.

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    Bronze Member Didditmiself's Avatar
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    rsinel, sorry to hear about your predicament. Judging by the fact that you say you can give us a lot more information about the case, it's obvious therefrom that it's not an open and shut one as there was a build up over a few months which eventually led to the explosion. Sometimes depending on the nature of the 'offence', if (and I say it with respect) the 'offence' was severe enough to warrant immediate dismissal, the Commissioner will take this into account and both you and your wife may end up with additional expense (travel and accommodation costs at the very least) and still be awarded nothing. I have been involved in a number of dismissal enquiries and it sometimes happens that cases are postponed due to the defendants' requesting postponement in order to acquire additional information such as documentation in order to subtantiate their case. I would therefore suggest that you and your wife consider very carefully whether the possible additional expense is worth the settlement you may (or may not) get bearing in mind that you have not been left 'high & dry' and have accepted R6 000 from them. Bear in mind that you have both been employed by the company for only 7 months so whatever settlement is awarded to you will not be large. Your wife's case will be handled separately, so this could also incur additional expenses insofar as accommodation is concerned. So I would urge you to give careful thought before choosing a route that could be more costlier than you had anticipated. One other thing: many times con-arb cases arise due to the "they-can't-do-this-to-me - I'll-show-them" attitude where relief is sought not just for financial compensation but because it is human nature to retaliate. Again, with respect, should this be the case, reconsider. Sometimes it is better to cut your losses as they are and start over again. I wish you and your wife well in your endeavours.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rsrlnel View Post
    I don't want to object to the con-arb. I want a con-arb, but the employer filed a objection against the con-arb. This means that we must drive over a 1000 km to attend the arbtiration hearing if its moved to a later date. SO what I am asking is if I can make a objection againt the arbitration being moved to another date?
    In short - no, you can't force a con-arb! And given that the employer has objected to the con-arb, it's not a matter of if the arbitration is moved to another date, it is going to happen on another date.

    Your only viable option to get this down to one event is to waive conciliation and ask to move directly to arbitration. I'm not sure that's in your best interests though as you're losing a bite at the cherry.

    To some extent this depends whether the employer intends to pitch to the conciliation hearing anyway - requesting that the conciliation and arbitration is held on seperate days normally means the employer has no intention of attending the conciliation step.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Platinum Member sterne.law@gmail.com's Avatar
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    if you and your wife have new jobs, give serious thought to going to conciliation and settling. Even if its a month or two.
    Considering my previous post and the travel issue, it may be the in-between. Not every battle is worth fighting..even if you have been wronged
    Anthony Sterne

    www.acumenholdings.co.za
    DISCLAIMER The above is merely a comment in discussion form and an open public arena. It does not constitute a legal opinion or professional advice in any manner or form.

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