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Women win cases against photo studio

Friday, October 29 2010

TWO women have won their cases in the Industrial Court against an employer who varied their terms and conditions of employment.

In the first case, Grace Cumberbatch who worked at a photographic studio in south Trinidad, took the owner to the Industrial Court for ordering her to work at one of the studio’s branches which was different to the location she had negotiated to work at.

Submitting on behalf of Cumberbatch, the All Trinidad General Workers Trade Union (ATGWTU) said the studio hours at the new location were different and it posed a difficulty in travelling from her home at Tableland.

The union contended that when she applied for the job, she had requested to work in San Fernando.

The union further argued that Cumberbatch did act properly by refusing to work at the location different to the one negotiated in her contract of employment.

The members of the court who heard the case were H. Soverall, G. Rousseau and R Linton. They held the employer varied the terms and conditions of the worker and as such should compensate her in the sum of $30,000 as damages.

The same judges of the court awarded Samdaye Jaggernauth $25,000 to be paid by the same employer, because her conditions of work were varied.

Jaggernauth claimed she was contracted to work at the employer’s store as a photographer/sales clerk, but claimed she sent her to a gym to work. The union argued Jaggernauth was made to sweep, take out the garbage and supervise a swimming pool. The judges held that in the event that an employer cannot provide employment which is comparable to a worker’s substantive post, the worker should be retrenched and paid severance benefits.

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