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Samsung reprieve as court finds no evidence in racial bias case

Ex-staff failed to prove racial bias. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Ex-staff failed to prove racial bias. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Electronics giant Samsung has been spared from paying damages in a dispute with its former service department head for East and Central Africa following a court ruling that absolved the firm from alleged racial and sexual discrimination in dismissing the employee.

The Court of Appeal has ruled that while the former Samsung worker was dismissed unfairly, she had failed to prove that there was sexual or racial bias engaged by the electronics giant while terminating her employment.

The former Samsung employee’s identity has been protected in court filings, and is only described as K. M. She joined Samsung in 2011 and was dismissed two years later after returning from leave.

Employment and Labour Relations judge Onesmus Makau had in 2013 awarded the former Samsung employee Sh7.1 million as damages for sexual and racial discrimination. But Samsung appealed and has now obtained an order dismissing the Sh7.1 million damages.

The electronics giant held that Justice Makau erred in finding Samsung guilty of racial and sexual discrimination, yet its former employee had not made the claims in her wrongful termination suit.

“This is because as discussed herein above, the allegation of racial and sexual discrimination was not proved. In as much as the respondent’s termination was unfair and wrongful, the learned judge ought to have given reasons as to why he opted to give the maximum compensation; failing to give reasons renders the award injudicious,” Justices Alnashir Visram, Wanjiru Karanja and Martha Koome ruled.

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