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Thread: Unfair dismissal - not happy with settlement

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    Unfair dismissal - not happy with settlement

    Good day,
    I had a Con/Arb 26th on which my employer objected and did come to the conciliation then. The whole process was wrong. I was charged for gross dishonesty and unauthorized absence...for one day I mailed my manager early and said I have to take the day off (one day) I had to be in court I was in a car accident....if you do request I can send the detailed info about that, but still I feel its irrelevant because I did have leave and its personal. Manager said I have to bring court order next day...Ill skip all the fine detail, but almost a month later I rec a notive of disiplinary enquiry, I asked him them for time off to go to court to get the proof (as I did before on which he said he only need the case number that I did not have.) He gave me time off and I called my lawyer, met him at court and he gave me a stamped letter from court. I handed it in assuming all will be better. I also requested more info re charges 3 days before hearing (I rcved it 50 min before hearing). After everything I got dismissed - he said the doc is false and I wasn't where I said I was. I got fired!!!!!!!! I was in court, one day leave, letter was not false - fired immediately! This is after a lot of things (unfair labour) happened in a year and even the hearing itself is so not according to procedure. I went to ccma, had a lawyer, and I was under impression I could take matters further after that day. I signed a settlement for 2 months salary and letter of good service. I'm not happy!!!! I don't want that settlement. I did not know that would be the end of the line. No job!! Got fired for nothing getting that. There is nothing that can make up loosing my income, throwing away 8 years of work to get to the point where I was...2 children to provide for. For not doing anything wrong. What can I do? I worked there for a year and six months, please help. My lawyer says there is nothing I could realy do anymore and that settlement is the best I would get.

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    Silver Member Greig Whitton's Avatar
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    Not to sound unsympathetic, but why did you sign a 2 month salary settlement if you didn't want it???

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    Diamond Member Justloadit's Avatar
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    From the description of the procedure for dismissal, it seems that your ex employer for some unknown reason did not really want you to be his employee, and looked for any reason to implement to get rid of you.

    This is not what you want to hear :-
    Whilst this seems a harsh reality, at the end of the day we all seem to forget, that it is the employers money and he may do as he sees fit, even in selecting who works for him - although the unions want to change this which may seem to be a fair request, but at the end of the day the union can not tell the employer where you must spend his money, it is yours not the unions.
    Secondly, believe me you do not want to be employed by some one who does not want you there, it makes every ones life hell.

    Typical severance pay is one week per year served, in you case the 8 years amounted to 8 weeks of pay or 2 months of pay, and that is what the CCMA had originally proposed.The CCMA can not force any other verdict, as this is what is in the LRA
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    Thank you, yes indeed I know he did not want me there, I had a year of trouble getting grined for anything. I signed cause I was under the impression that that's the procedures and then afterwards I couldve done a civil case harrassment, and the whole list of unfair labour that led to my dismissal.

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    Bronze Member KristiKat's Avatar
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    you have a better case for harrassment, and getting money out of it,

    than you could get a possible appeal on this "settlement"....

    especially if the law was followed to the nine as loadit described it.
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    Bronze Member KristiKat's Avatar
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    Just note that if you don't have sufficient proof....or evidence documenting the harassment, then the COURT can and will award costs AGAINST YOU...and you would have to carry the entire cost of the suit....

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    To me it looks like the labour law does not really protect the employee, if he was so unhappy he could've given me unpaid leave..., but to get fired for ONE day, plus he questioned tha validity of a letter from the court, stamped. Even my words were turned around which there was recordings made, that is different from the final result from chairman of my in house hearing.

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    Platinum Member Marq's Avatar
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    Minnie - the best thing to do now, is rather spend all this negative energy in looking for a new job and turning it into a positive.
    Look at it as a learning curve and rather than harping on this unfortunate incident and go forward.
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    Silver Member Greig Whitton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minnie14 View Post
    To me it looks like the labour law does not really protect the employee
    I can assure you that our labour laws are HEAVILY skewed in favour of employees. Should you ever run your own business one day and employ people, you will find that out first hand.

    Quote Originally Posted by Minnie14 View Post
    if he was so unhappy he could've given me unpaid leave..., but to get fired for ONE day, plus he questioned tha validity of a letter from the court, stamped. Even my words were turned around which there was recordings made, that is different from the final result from chairman of my in house hearing.
    Obviously we only have your version of events, but assuming that they are accurate then your employer almost certainly dismissed you unfairly. Compensation awards for unfair dismissal can be higher than the severance pay that Justloadit described, however, you signed a settlement - thus, eliminating any possibility of a higher compensation award.

    From what you have described, you signed the settlement on the advice of your attorney. Was that good advice? Again, much depends on other details that we aren't privy to. However, if you worked for that employer for 8 years and if the dismissal circumstances were as bad as you described, then I suspect that your attorney took the easy route and pushed for a settlement instead of fighting for compensation for which you may have had a very strong business case.

    Nothing that you have shared thus far leads me to believe that you have a case for harassment or a civil lawsuit. And even if you do, signing what I assume was a full and final settlement may preclude you from pursuing it.

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    Diamond Member Justloadit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minnie14 View Post
    To me it looks like the labour law does not really protect the employee, if he was so unhappy he could've given me unpaid leave..., but to get fired for ONE day, plus he questioned tha validity of a letter from the court, stamped. Even my words were turned around which there was recordings made, that is different from the final result from chairman of my in house hearing.
    To the contrary, the LRA is very weighted towards employees, and not employers.
    This is one of the single most reasons that companies do not want to employ, simply because they are always penalised even when the the employees are at fault.

    Your case was a situation, that no matter what you tried, there will always be a situation, in which the employer would have used to get you out of there.
    Even if the employer retrenched you, or even if it was an unfair dismissal, the most you will get is one week for each year served. That's what was awarded to you.
    The commissioner at the hearing does tend to favour the employee, and would have commented, had the offer made not the general guidelines for the situation concerned.
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