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Actuary sues UoN over job as messenger, withheld pay

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Mr Stephen Otieno Ogutu is urging the High Court to compel the university to offer him a job matching his qualifications. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Mr Stephen Otieno Ogutu is urging the High Court to compel the university to offer him a job matching his qualifications.
  • And besides being stuck on the 'wrong job', lawyer Titus Koceyo, told the Employment and Labour Relations Court that Mr Ogutu has not been paid for the last nine months.
  • Mr Koceyo urged the court to order UoN to pay the claimant Sh1,500,000 for the wrongful withholding of his salary and subjecting him to servitude by working without pay.

A Master's degree holder in actuarial science has taken the University of Nairobi (UoN) to court for employing him as a messenger since 2005.

Mr Stephen Otieno Ogutu is urging the High Court to compel the university to offer him a job matching his qualifications.

And besides being stuck on the 'wrong job', lawyer Titus Koceyo, told the Employment and Labour Relations Court that Mr Ogutu has not been paid for the last nine months.

The unpaid salary, he says, amounts to Sh310,806. He is also seeking compensation for wrongful and unlawful withholding of his pay.

Mr Koceyo urged the court to order UoN to pay the claimant Sh1,500,000 for the wrongful withholding of his salary and subjecting him to servitude by working without pay.

He told the court that UoN had not given an explanation why it had not paid Mr Ogutu despite several correspondences.

The lawyer told Justice Maureen Onyango that Mr Ogutu “is suffering immensely and finding a lot of difficulties in making ends meet.”

“Mr Ogutu fears that he might be relieved of his duties,” he said.

Mr Ogutu is urging the court to issue a temporary injunction restraining the respondent (UoN) from terminating his employment.

“I urge this court to restrain UoN not to subject the plaintiff (Mr Ogutu) to inhuman, hostile and humiliating work environment pending the determination of the case,” Mr Koceyo urged.

Certifying the case as urgent, Justice Onyango ordered Mr Koceyo to serve the university with the suit documents.

The plaintiff is asking the court to declare that he has been discriminated against claiming that all the other employees are being paid.

“This is not a question of cash flow issue but an act of discrimination in a workplace,” Mr Koceyo said in the case documents.

“Despite sterling performance of his duties and his academic qualifications, the respondent still recognises him officially as a messenger and has continued to grade his salary and job title as such which amounts to unfair labour practice,” Mr Koceyo said in the court documents.

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