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Clerk who worked for 17 months without pay in Orengo’s firm seeking Sh1m compensation

A man who says he once worked as a clerk in a law firm associated with Siaya Senator James Orengo is claiming that he quit his job after working for 17 months without a salary.

Gilbert Ogango, who has since sued the firm, JAB Orengo Advocates, is now seeking a payment of Sh1 million in compensation, including salary arrears of 17 months amounting to Sh340,000, one month salary in lieu of notice of Sh20,000, house allowance of Sh267,000, one year compensation of Sh240,000 and for services rendered to the law firm for the seven years he worked as a clerk.

On Wednesday the complainant told a Labour Court that he was employed at the firm as a clerk in September 2008.

He further said the terms, which were agreed orally was that he would receive a monthly salary of Sh15,000. The amount was later increased to Sh20,000 from January 2011.

All was well at the firm until mid-2013 when his salary started delaying. He said he would be paid through a cheque but the payment would sometimes be delayed for up to three months.

Mr Ogango, however, continued working until February 2016 when he decided to quit because his pay had been delayed for too long.

DENIED CLAIMS

The complainant also Ogango told Justice Onesmus Makau that he was never suspended or faced disciplinary action, while working for the firm.

To support his case, Mr Ogango called an advocate Veronicah Achieng, who did her pupillage at the firm, as a witness. She confirmed that she did her pupillage in January 2001 and was introduced to other members of the firm by her pupil master Julie Soweto.

She was told that Mr Ogango, who was working as a clerk, would take her around and show her the filing system, courts, libraries, filing and serving documents. She said she followed him around as he performed those duties.

Ms Achieng said she would later get a job at the firm as an associate but she also quit after her salary was delayed for about two months. The Advocate told the court that she was eventually paid after leaving the law firm.

The firm has however denied employing Mr Ogango as a clerk saying that he did not have the qualification.

Further, the court heard that Mr Ogango was never employed on full term basis and that he does not have a contract to back his claim.

Justice Makau directed the parties to file their submissions and appear before him on June 13 for directions.