A former manager at the Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC), who was fired after three years on the job when it was discovered that he did not have the qualifications for the post, has come to a $600,000 settlement over his dismissal.
The settlement was announced as the wrongful dismissal case brought by Ishwar Jadoonanan was set to go on trial before Justice Frank Seepersad at the Hall of Justice in Port-of-Spain, on Tuesday.
While Jadoonanan was claiming a little over $1.5 million in compensation in the case, he agreed to accept one-third of the figure to withdraw it and avoid a trial.
As he allowed Jadoonanan to withdraw the case, Seepersad congratulated the parties for adopting what he described as the “prudent approach”.
During a pre-trial review, several months ago, Seepersad suggested the course of action as he noted that Jadoonanan had a valid claim over a lack of notice before he was terminated.
As part of the decision, Seepersad also ordered PTSC to pay the $74,576.06 in legal costs which Jadoonanan incurred in bringing the lawsuit.
Jadoonanan was hired as the company’s human resource manager in September 2010.
Several months later, there was a restructuring in the organisation and Jadoonanan was elevated to the position of Deputy General Manager-Human Resources. He was given a contract spanning from 2010 to 2014.
One year later, Jadoonanan claimed that he was appointed to act as Deputy General Manager-Administration while another employee took up his previous post.
Several months after Jadoonanan received the second promotion, he was asked to resubmit his resume.
He complied and was then informed that he did not possess a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) as required under his new job description. He was eventually terminated.
In his lawsuit, Jadoonanan claimed that he was only informed of the board’s decision after inaccurate newspaper reports on his tenure at PTSC were published. Jadoonanan challenging his dismissal on the basis that he was not informed of the alleged educational qualification requirement when he was successively promoted.
“Jadoonanan’s personal records were always within the records of the defendant and available at any time for review,” his lawyers said in his statement of case.
In its defence, PTSC claimed that Jadoonanan was not appointed or confirmed in the positions as he claimed.
It also claimed that the $59,000 a month salary Jadoonanan was claiming he was earning, was not approved by the then Minister of Works and Transport.
While it denied any wrongdoing, PTSC claimed that if Jadoonanan was, in fact, wrongful terminated, he was only entitled to three months salary in his contract.
Jadoonanan was represented by Keith Scotland, Asha Watkins-Montserin and Karina Dookie, while Nirad Samnadda-Ramrekersingh and Richard Freeman represented the PTSC.
Reporter: Derek Achong