Liberia: Court Demands LBDI to Re-Instate or Pay Off Employee

The Ninth Judicial Circuit Court in Gbarnga, Bong County has ordered the management of the Liberian Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) to pay two years benefits to its former employee David Gotoba for wrongful dismissal.

Mr. David Gotoba, who used to work for the bank as New Account Officer, was dismissed by the bank for not following the procedure in withdrawing from an account, even though the holder of the account did not complain after receiving cash in full.

The Court ruling upholds the earlier ruling from the Labor Court finding the management of LBDI guilty of wrongful dismissal.

The Court said LBDI should reinstate Mr. Gotoba and pay him all his benefits within the time he was dismissed; maintaining that the error is manor to lead to dismissal especially when Mr. Gotoba has never been issued warning or suspension letter.

"This Court is however of the opinion that such minor breach of duty is not a degree or level of breach for which an employee can be summarily dismissed; especially considering that the said employee has served his employer for ten years without serious breach of duty or misconduct, and that there are punishment detailed in the employer/management handbook which stipulates verbal warming, writing warming, suspension etc," Yamie Quiqui Gbeisay, Sr. Assigned Circuit Court Judge said in his ruling.

He said the employee deserves to be reprimanded by a warming or suspension, but certainly not by dismissal as in the instant case.

In a chat with this paper after the Court ruling, Mr. Gotoba expressed gladness over the verdict and called on the management of LBDI to implement the mandate of the court in the County.

Mr. Gotoba told journalists that the case was first heard at the Labor Court in the County, which the management of the Liberian

Bank for Development and Investment was found guilty for wrongfully dismissing he, noting the Labor Court ordered the bank to pay all his damages, but the management of LBDI refused to do so, but took an appeal to the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court, which again they were found guilty for wrongfully dismissing he.

According to he, he has worked with the bank for over ten years, but was sadly dismissed without respect for the hard work and commitment he showed in the execution of his duty as New Account Officer.

Due to his wrongful dismissal from the Bank, the former LBDI New Account Officer has reduced himself to a mere Taxi driver, on grounds that life is becoming unbearable for he and his family in the County.

Meanwhile, the Management of LBDI through its legal team are pending to take an appealed to the Supreme Court of Liberia.

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