Ccma advice

leslie hempel

Professional Aquarist
7 May 2007
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East London
Guys I'm busy with an unfortunate event resulting in me taking my employer to the Ccma.

If any of you are labour law orientated I'd appreciate if I could run the scenario by you to see what actions to follow.

I am deffinatley going to be victimised and need to get my act together for Tuesday.
Hey bud. PM me a rundown...can send it to our IR lady shes considered one of the best...she normally wins all our cases...she will be able to give you her opinion.

From my own long as you have enough evidence should be fine...
Thanks JS. I have plenty of evidence. Dates times mails what's apps etc. I know I'm entering a shots torn on Monday and I want to be prepared so as to keep my advantage.

Thank you

Will pm you asap
Print it all out Les and have it on paper time stamped, go prepared and you are sure to have the advantage and the mediator will be able to see that it is actual proof and not heresay...

Good luck:thumbup:
Which aspect particularly? I work with a patent attorney and am involved in a law faculty so can ask a few professors depending on what it is you need?
I'm not sure if this is exactly what it is but I dident have time to remove personal info off of my work laptop and I'm positive my past employer has access to my private info as well as personal mail and Facebook acc etc.

I'm also needing info off of it for my case against them. Is there anything I can do to get access to retrieve my info?
The nature of the personal information will determine whether or not there are intellectual property rights involved (general personal information will usually not revolve around intellectual property law though)... The major problem is that the laptop belongs to your employer which essentially means the files on the laptop as well. That being said, everyone has the right to privacy and the employer is obligated not to infringe on that privacy by using or accessing any of that information... Aside from requesting your employer to access the laptop to remove personal information (which I am assuming is not an option), I will have to check with one of my colleagues what else could be done... Sorry I cannot be of more help but will see if anyone else in the office has some suggestions...
Les , its all abt the process followed........... eveidence is nothing if you have not followed the correct procedure. I have been to ccma on several occasions and all they want to check is if there was the correct procedures followed. The main thing is a disciplinary codes and procedures doc that should accompany every employee with his employment letter.
Hi Les

Been to the CCMA a lot and we win nearly every time, if our case is weak we settle before we get there. The commissioners these days are pretty good and cut to the chase pretty fast. As some of the earlier posts mentioned:

• Company needs to demonstrate they followed procedure to the letter – the company will be required to furnish supporting documentation to show they followed procedure – warning letters, hearing notices, minutes of hearing etc. Commissioner will ask to see the required docs.

• Company needs to demonstrate the charges are valid and supported with relevant evidence or repeat behaviour – e-mails, word of mouth means nothing unless it is documented - e-mail is considered in writing

You as the employee will usually start proceedings explaining why you have brought your case before the CCMA.

So prep in relation to above points, don’t ramble on, be precise and to the point – prep your notes beforehand. Most of the staff generally wing it when they sitting before the commissioner a cock it up.

Don’t get into he said – she said stick to what is documented and that you can clearly demonstrate in the meeting.

After your version the company will put their side of the story across.
The commissioner might even cut ether party short is the issues are obvious and jump to the compensation or throw you out if you have no case.

If the company has not followed procedure compensation will be discussed. 1 – 6 months salary is the norm depending on how poorly it was followed. Commissioner will ask you what compensation you will like, you will of course go large and say 12 months (Max claimable I recall) and he will say 6 months more realistic, Employer will say how about 3 and you may agree on 4 months.

If the charges can’t be validated – reinstatement is usually the suggested option after which the employee or you will say the relationship is permanently tarnished and you suggest financial comp – which goes along the lines of the above paragraph.

If you can’t come to an agreement you can go to arbitration where you will need legal representation – you can try go without but the employer’s legal team will eat you for breakfast.

Companies usually try string this out as long as long as possible so your legal costs exceed any compensation. I spent two years on a case once. Out of desperation the employee decided to settle out of court and his legal fees way exceeded what he got or was offered in the 1st offer.

This is a dirty business. Good luck.
Well said @Adrian B, I was there on the 4th (but from the employer's side)

Lots of prep is necessary. As well as maintaining a professional decorum.
In our case, it was due to an employee abusing sick leave and presenting fake Dr. notes etc., and all documents had to be brought in triplicate, copy for his legal representation, copy for ccma and of course, our own copy as well.

If you have personal messages (WhatsApp, Fb, email) between you and your employer, ensure to print it with the timestamps and highlight the specific messages that you would be referring to. We were instructed to do that.

But yeah, Adrian B pretty much summed up our experience, as the warning letters, hearing notices and the minutes of the hearing are very important. As well as the validation of the claimed charges, as sometimes the charges the employer claims, get tossed out by their own legal representation due to lack of evidence against the employee.

Good luck though mate.
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Leslie I have been unfortunate enough to spend more time in Jhb central at the CCMA than I would have wished for. Whilst I have always been defending ( as the employer ) I can concur with the excellent advice give by @AdrianB. Some of my observations:

1. Never let the situation get emotional regardless of what is being discussed. The commissioners have seen it all before and although it may be life and death to you, its just another case to him/her. I have seen many judgments affected by unreasonable behaviour ( shouting, gesturing, crying, sulking etc etc). These commissioners generally know their stuff and act on cold hard facts. Who presents their case best normally wins.
2. Be respectful at all times to all parties at the hearing, even to your employer! Commissioners always nail people who come across as anything bordering on arrogance/ indignant / aggressive / confrontational. As @AdrianB says, stick to the facts and keep it as dispassionate as you can. Theatricals are seen as weakness regardless of what side they come from.
3. Be 100% sure of your answers before replying to questions asked. It is far better to ask for a minute to check your notes / gather your thoughts than make an incorrect response. Your integrity is paramount and the commissioner will appreciate you being thorough in your answers to him/her. Honesty is always the best policy.
4. Get there with plenty of time to spare. You will be amazed how many cases I went to were thrown out because the other party was late. These guys have no patience and when you see the crowds you will understand why.

All the best.
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Thank you very much for the input guys. I'm a little screwed as most of my supporting documenation is on the pc I left at work. But I have printed the mais indicating hostile dialogue from the employers side.

Other than that it's gonna be me against them.

Your input is greatly appreciated gents.

Thanks again
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