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Fiji Times Told: Reinstate Raj

The Fiji Times has reinstated a former sports reporter after an Employment Relations Tribunal ruling. Fred Wesley, The Fiji Times editor-in-chief, said last night that Amit Raj would resume work
18 Jul 2015 12:45
Fiji Times Told: Reinstate Raj
Reinstated Fiji Times sports reporter Amit Raj (left), with lawyer Augustine Sokimi. Photo: Paulini Ratulailai

The Fiji Times has reinstated a former sports reporter after an Employment Relations Tribunal ruling.

Fred Wesley, The Fiji Times editor-in-chief, said last night that Amit Raj would resume work on Monday.

The newspaper has also been ordered to pay Mr Raj $30,000 in compensation.

The tribunal ruled that Mr Raj had proved that he had been discriminated, disadvantaged and victimised during his term as a reporter. This led to his resignation in 2011.

Mr Raj referred his grievances to the Tribunal on June 7, 2012 in accordance with section 194(5) of the Employment Relations Promulgation (ERP) which states: If a Mediator fails to resolve an employment grievance or an employment dispute, the Mediator shall refer the grievance or dispute to the Employment Tribunal.

The Fiji Times, represented by Jon Apted and Mr Raj, who was represented by Augustine Sokimi, appeared before Joshika Samujh at the Employment Relations Tribunal in Suva on Thursday.

Mr Raj claimed that he was constructively dismissed when The Fiji Times failed to comply with their equal opportunity workplace policy by not according him a chance to advance in his career through overseas assignments thus causing him both discrimination and disadvantage.

“The employer is thus found and declared to have unfairly and unlawfully discriminated, disadvantaged, victimised and constructively dismissed Mr Raj pursuant to the relevant provisions of the ERP and the Constitution of Fiji (in conjunction with the Human Rights Commission Decree No.11 of 2009),” Madam Samujh said.

She said since Mr Raj’s termination in 2011 until his case was heard last year, he waited three years for justice to prevail.

“He is then entitled to recover compensation for two years of service given that he had a blemish- free record within the consecutive three year of service with The Fiji Times prior to his constructive dismissal.

“I shall give him a round figure of $20,000 as per his salary contained in the contract of service. I also grant in relation to injury of feelings and health suffered due to the act of unfair discrimination and victimisation suffered by Mr Raj,” she ordered.

“For this, I give a round figure of $10,000 to be added to the final claim, making the sum total award of the compensation to stand at $30,000.”

She said Mr Raj should be reinstated with immediate effect and not withstanding any appeal against her decision.

Additionally The Fiji Times has been asked to pay $500 cost to Mr Raj from the time of the judgment.

Feedback: aqela.susu@fijisun.com.fj

 

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