A personal assistant has been awarded Sh4.8 million by a Labour Court in Nairobi after she accused her boss at Bridge International for turning her into a babysitter.
Lia Gloria Mayka, who accused an executive at the school of asking her to babysit her supervisor’s children, was awarded the amount in damages for illegal termination.
Mayka had testified before the court that she was not accorded a hearing before being sacked and that the institution’s management treated her unfairly in spite of her objections.
Lady Justice Maureen Onyango found that Mayka’s termination was based on unjustified reasons and that Bridge International did not prove that it followed due procedure.
The woman was at the time the personal assistant to the Bridge International Academies chief strategist and development officer at the time of the incidents.
“It is my view that the Respondent’s treatment of the claimant bordered on servitude, which is the highest form of human indignity,” said the judge in her ruling.
She added: “It is for this reason that I find that she is entitled to maximum compensation for the unlawful and unfair termination.”
In her testimony, Mayka told the court she had been exploited by Bridge after she was assigned extra duties including looking after of the supervisor’s children.
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.
Mayka said she was forced to execute the new duties, but revealed she said she was never offered any job description after appointment on September 16, 2013 despite demanding.
But in his testimony, Bridge International Managing Director Reuben Wambugu Mwangi, maintained they followed due process in firing her for reportedly failing to meet set targets.
On child care, he maintained that the role of providing child care was aptly communicated to Ms Mayka by her supervisor.
Wambugu insisted that the company had communicated to the Mayka about the child care assignment although she had not confirmed acting the extra duties they assigned to her.
He admitted that the complainant was hired as an Executive Assistant but he was unable to confirm before the court whether the child care duties formed part of her job description.
The court heard that Mayka was paid all her terminal dues but she said she never received a performance evaluation or job review despite demanding the same on several occasions.