Massive Sh1bn Lawsuit Unleashed by Axed Cisco Staff

In a legal battle that has captivated the tech industry, Grace Mokaya, a former sales manager at Cisco Systems Management BV, has taken legal action against the renowned American data and technology firm. Seeking compensation exceeding Sh1 billion, she claims that her termination from the company three years ago was both unfair and unlawful. The lawsuit centers around the alleged breach of her constitutional rights and the denial of natural justice during the employment termination process.

Grace Mokaya, in a petition filed before the Employment and Labour Relations court, asserts that her dismissal in July 2020 was executed without due process, thereby violating her rights. The primary component of the hefty compensation she seeks comprises commissions that she believes she would have earned from the lucrative IT solutions provided to the Kenyan government, which purportedly generated billions of shillings for Cisco.

According to Ms. Mokaya, the entire process leading up to her termination disregarded her constitutional rights and infringed upon the principles of natural justice. She strongly affirms that the termination breached her protected freedoms and the inherent fairness owed to employees facing such circumstances.

The court proceedings were scheduled to commence on Monday, but Cisco requested additional time to prepare its responses to the submitted documents. In light of this, Justice Matthews Nduma postponed the hearing to December 4, allowing both parties to adequately present their arguments.

Contrary to Ms. Mokaya's claims, Cisco denies any wrongdoing and states that she was given the opportunity to respond to the concerns raised before her termination. In court documents, the company contends that Ms. Mokaya was employed in 2017 with an annual base salary of Sh5.2 million and a target incentive equal to 100 percent of her base pay, totaling Sh10.5 million per year. However, she alleges that her performance evaluation for the 2020 financial year was unfairly influenced.

Ms. Mokaya highlights her diligent and professional approach in her year-to-year performance, with the exception of the 2020 financial year. She emphasizes her success in fostering strong relationships with customers and her satisfaction in promoting solutions that enhance citizen delivery, particularly within the public sector.

According to Ms. Mokaya's petition, the contentious events began when she was placed on a continuous six-week Performance Improvement Plan (PIP), despite voicing valid concerns about the fairness of such a practice. This plan, implemented between April and May 2020, involved weekly meetings to review and discuss her progress. Furthermore, she claims that she was pressured into signing a mutual separation agreement, which she ultimately declined. Nevertheless, on July 29, 2020, she allegedly found herself coerced into signing a termination letter.

Under Section 41 of the Employment Act, an employer is required to provide grounds for termination due to poor performance. It is within this legal framework that the dispute between Grace Mokaya and Cisco is set to unfold, with significant ramifications for both parties. The legal battle between Grace Mokaya and Cisco Systems Management BV has garnered attention as she seeks more than Sh1 billion in compensation, asserting that her termination was unlawful. The case will ultimately shed light on the delicate balance between employee rights, fair treatment, and performance evaluation within the tech industry. As the court hearing approaches, the outcome of this high-stakes lawsuit holds considerable implications for both the former sales manager and the renowned American data and technology firm.