Which grounds does my company have to fi...

Asked by Nicole on 19-02-2020 22:00:20
Question posted in the General Law category relating to Western Cape
Question value: R 200.00

Which grounds does my company have to fire me. Currently 7 months pregnant. I made a huge mistake my sending the incorrect data file which will cost the company an additional 40k.

We running a weekly competition where 2 customers win a prize worth 20k each. We have the actual winners file and a back up file incase after several attempts to call the winners and they don't answer we move to the back file. I incorrectly selected the back up and those customers where contacted and accepted their prize. We have to honor the actual winners and call them. They have set up a meeting with our legal to consult a way forward. 

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Answer to the Question

Posted by Att. Patrick on 20-02-2020 09:42:58

Hi there and thank you for your question,

I am a practicing attorney based in South Africa and I will assist you with your question. Please feel free to ask as many follow up questions in order to clarify your question. If you have a new question, you must please open a new thread.

It doesn't sound as if your company is firing you at present. Rather, it sounds like you're worried that you might be fired because of the mistake that you made. 

Well, if the company wants to fire you they need to follow the correct procedure. This means that they have to give you notice of the complaint, and they need to call you in for a hearing, and they need to let you "defend" yourself and your actions, and then they need to make a decision as to what will happen - either nothing, or an oral warning, or a written warning, or a final warning, or a dismissal.

So, they need to balance the punishment (the sanction) with the "crime". If the sanction exceeds the "crime", then you are free to challenge or appeal against the sanction. If you are still not happy with the outcome, you can then approach the CCMA and refer the dispute to them to hear. 

There is also a difference between a genuine mistake and negligence.

A genuine mistake does not warrant a hearing or a sanction, however negligence does. So it really is a question of whether you made a genuine mistake, or whether you were negligent in your actions. I'm afraid that I can't comment on this aspect, because it is subjective.

I think that you need to play a little quiet for the moment, and see what the outcome of that meeting is. 

Then, if they call you to a disciplinary meeting, you will know that they are getting serious and are wanting to take action against you for what happened.

If there is a part of the answer which you need more advice on, or clarity please continue in this same thread instead of opening a new question.

Att. Patrick

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Information provided by client

Thank you for the advice. Could i be held liable to pay the money?
? Question was asked how will i cover for the lost. But everything seems to be tight lip around this situation. Do i address it or wait

Answer to the Question

Posted by Att. Patrick on 20-02-2020 14:57:17

No, you could not be held liable to pay the money. Only if you stole the money or if you were involved in some sort of fraud. But that's not what happened. This was an honest mistake which unfortunately caused the company a loss.

Don't address it now. Rather wait and see. 

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