14 June 2019

Kenya: Waiter Stirs Social Media Anger With Claims of Unfair Sack At Amaica the Restaurant

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A man who was waiting tables at Amaica The Restaurant, off Peponi Road, is seeking justice for wrongful dismissal.

Mr Maxwell Mwangi claims he was fired despite being granted permission to attend to his wife Gladys Wanjiru who had a stillbirth after undergoing Cesarean Section.

However, the restaurant in a statement on Thursday exonerated itself from any wrong doing and instead blamed him for absconding duty. The unsigned statement said Mr Mwangi is still their employee.

Mr Mwangi's predicaments started on May 2, 2019 when his pregnant wife called him to announce she had gone into labour. He quickly sent her money and asked her to get a cab to hospital which she did.

CONDITION WORSENED

His wife's condition worsened and was transferred to Pumwani Maternity Hospital for an emergency Cesarean Section.

"I took her to the hospital and went back home at 3am because the following morning I was still needed at work," he says.

While on duty, he received call that his wife had a stillbirth. He claims to have quickly informed his Unit Manager, one Jesse, about his wife's condition and asked to be granted permission to leave.

The permission was granted after he formalised the request through a letter.

When he returned to work on Monday, he claims the Chief Executive Pamela Muyeshi demanded to be shown the baby's original death certificate, burial notification and permit.

In an interview with Sema Kweli Kenya, a digital platform run by civil activist Bonface Mwangi, Maxwell said Pumwani Hospital was the one handling the burial since it was a stillbirth. He requested a day off in order to get the requested documents.

He claims the CEO refused and dismissed him.

'STILL OUR EMPLOYEE'

But in a statement, Amaico The Restaurant said Maxwell is still their employee and was allowed a three-day compassionate leave from May 03 to May 06.

"We wish to state categorically that as far as we are concerned, Maxwell is still our employee except that he has absconded duty since May 8, 2019.

"We also wish to state that we are aware that Maxwell lost a son and for that unfortunate event, he was allowed compassionate leave from work on May 3, 2019 to May 6, 2019," reads the restaurant's statement in part."

Amaico further stated that it did not understand the "motivation of his false statement".

Amaica The Restaurant's statement on the Maxwell Mwangi's story. pic.twitter.com/46HqyA8o1C - The Amaica Restaurants (@AmaicaKenya) June 12, 2019

Here are some of the reactions on social media.

The statement is not signed by anyone! Take responsibility. It's a basic rule -- Wakesho Mwagae (@EileenWakesho) June 12, 2019

We can contribute for max to get a very good lawyer & sue the restaurant because it did not observe labor laws leave alone moral ones. -- IAmTheTrueVine™ (@QueenOfForthall) June 13, 2019

Where is the compassion in that surely? Would the owner of @AmaicaKenya give themselves 3 days leave if their child died? -- Red (@RookieKE) June 13, 2019

3 day compassionate leave, how nice of you -- Sir Brian (@brian6foot) June 13, 2019

Madam Pamela, "Take care of your employees and they will take care of your business. It's as simple as that." Richard Branson pic.twitter.com/ck2CuGuQeO -- Carol Songa (@CarolSonga) June 13, 2019

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