Industrial Court ruling needs serious discussion – Dorsett

Dr. David Dorsett is displeased over Wednesday’s judgement by the Industrial Court that the Board of Education (BoE) and not Cabinet was the employer of D Gisele Isaac when she was suspended and locked out of her office in 2014 while she served as executive secretary.

Dorsett, one of the lead counsels representing the government’s interest in the matter, had argued that the Cabinet was the bona fide employer.

Dorsett has opined that the judgement means that a person can basically have two masters. He also believes the recent judgement contradicts the law and basic principles. 

“Under the law, it is the Cabinet that appoints her, it is the Cabinet that has the power to suspend her and it is the Cabinet that has the power to remove her from office, it is the Cabinet that has the power to fix or to vary her remuneration. If those are the legal realities, it can’t be that somebody else is her employer with the same responsibility.

“That does not make sense to us, we are very concerned about the decision and we will be advising the necessary bodies [members of the government] to see what ought to be done in this case,” Dorsett said during an interview with our newsroom.

Isaac was suspended from the BoE on in July 2014 for 28 days, and upon returning to work after her suspension, she found the locks to her office had been changed.

She took the matter to court on the premise that the Minister of Education did not have the right to instruct her, as he claimed; that natural justice was not followed in that she was not allowed a hearing in the investigation that followed her suspension. She also asked the court to award her damages and cost to her lawyer.

Meanwhile, Justin L. Simon, Q.C., who is representing the embattled former executive secretary, says the Industrial Court’s judgement paves the way for Isaac to proceed with a case of unfair dismissal against her employer the BoE.

“On the behalf of D Gisele Isaac, I had already filed the employer’s memorandum along with the witness statement and the exhibit. So, the Board of Education has been given time which has started to run for them to file the necessary documents opposing the claim that we are making that she was constructive, unfairly dismissed,” Simon said.

He also stated that, like any other case, the government’s team, does have the right to appeal the latest decision if the law firm so decides.

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