Govt loses Gaming Board court battle

A Supreme Court judge on Monday ordered the immediate reinstatement of 24 Gaming Board employees after ruling that they were illegally dismissed in 2017.

Justice Indra Charles said that the board failed to follow the proper redundancy procedures that are set out in the Employment Amendment Act of 2017.

She said, “I find what the defendant did was to carry out a redundancy exercise. I find that management as well as the bargaining agents were wrongfully and unlawfully dismissed.”

Charles said that those workers were entitled to special damages because they sustained financial loss because of the Gaming Board’s actions.

Charles found that two contracted workers whose three-year contracts were expected to end on August 31, 2018, were prematurely terminated and were entitled to be paid the full value of their contracts.

Charles ruled that four other contractual workers — three of them former police officers — were not wrongfully terminated as they were being paid month-to-month.

The court ruled that these workers are only entitled to one-month’s pay in lieu of notice, but were overpaid and given three months’ pay.

Charles said that it was too late to require them to repay the extra money.

Charles ruled that six probationary workers had no recourse since their employment could be terminated at the discretion of the board.

The amount of those damages should be calculated by June 30.

The court, however, said that “reinstatement should take place right away”.

Charles refused to entertain an application from Gary Francis for a stay of the effect of her decision.

She said any appeal or stay application must be made directly to the Court of Appeal.

The parties return to court on Friday to determine costs.

Wayne Munroe, QC, represented the plaintiffs.

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Artesia Davis

Artesia primarily covers court stories, but she also writes extensively about crime.

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