Peter started working as a waiter at the SAV Hotel in Nairobi in November 2007. He was good at his job and was rapidly promoted to become the senior waiter.
The SAV Hotel prided itself on providing a healthy working environment for its employees. However, in 2014, there was a shortage of competent waiting staff and Peter became very stressed. The working conditions were not helped by a difficult relationship with the Restaurant Manager, Mr. Richard. Peter developed stress induced eczema and took six weeks’ unpaid leave to visit his parents in Kwale.
On return, his difficulties continued. He burnt his hands whilst serving a customer and was off work for three weeks but received no sick pay. Peter repeatedly asked Richard about it but he refused to authorize it. The company policy required a six-month appraisal for each employee yet Peter has not had one for the last three years. Whenever he asked, Richard refused to conduct the appraisal.
At the beginning of December 2014, during a busy shift, Peter removed a pre-purchased but unopened bottle of wine from a table which had just been vacated by a party of diners and took it to the kitchen. He was confronted by the assistant Manager and told that he should have obtained permission to do so. He received a warning letter for his conduct.
At the end of January 2015, Peter was confronted by Mr. Richard when eating food from the metal serving tray he was taking to the kitchen. He was told that it was a new rule that staff were not supposed to eat in the kitchen during working hours. Peter lost his temper and shouted back at Richard that he had not been told about the new rules and in any event, other staff members had eaten food during working hours and had not been reprimanded.
Peter was sent home immediately. The next day, he received a phone call from Mr. Richard telling him not to report to work as he had been dismissed for gross misconduct. Aggrieved by that decision Peter has instructed you as his Advocate to file a suit at the Employment and Labour Court. From the foregoing:
| Analyse your case theory preparation.
(b) Identify six questions you would ask Peter.
(c) What do you think are the weaknesses of this case?
(d) Identify six questions you would ask Richard during cross-examination.