Court upholds ruling in Dh2m bank lawsuit

ABU DHABI - An employee of an international bank in Abu Dhabi who had sued the bank in a Dh2 million lawsuit has lost his case after the Abu Dhabi Appeals Court dismissed it.

By Muawia E. Ibrahim

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Published: Sun 3 Aug 2003, 11:53 AM

Last updated: Wed 1 Apr 2015, 10:08 PM

According to court sources, the employee had been working with the bank for 17 years. He sued the bank to claim his end-of-service dues of around Dh2 million. The court rejected the case because the employee failed to claim his dues within a year, as per labour laws.

The employee had lodged a complaint against the bank with Labour Ministry, claiming his dues which included outstanding salaries of four years, end-of-service gratuity (17 years), reimbursement of accumulated leave balance of 328 days, Dh130,000 (his dues with the Saving Fund of the bank), Dh36,831 (deducted tax from salary illegally), as per his claim. He was drawing a monthly salary of Dh21,834.

Before going to court, the labour disputes department at the Ministry of Labour offered to settle the dispute, but the two parties refused. Accordingly, it referred the case to the Abu Dhabi Civil Court. The bank defended that the employee did not report to work during the period for which he claimed the dues, saying that the plaintiff was in prison in another case.

Even after he was released, the latter did not report to work, without any justified reasons. Similarly, the bank did not request him to report to work, a matter which was considered as a satisfactory relation for both the parties. The bank, therefore, requested the court not to consider the case as one year had lapsed during which the plaintiff did not claim his dues.

Based on an expert's report, the court dismissed the case.

The plaintiff then appealed against the verdict, defending that he did not quit his job voluntarily but he lost it as a result of the collapse of the bank. He was not terminated by the bank, neither did the bank allowed him to leave the country to work in any other country during the four years and until returning his passport.

The court concluded that the plaintiff had quit his job willingly and without legal reasons, adding that it was evident that the two parties had implicitly accepted termination of the employee's service, which means the claim of dues during the subject period is invalid. Therefore, the court considered the date of the employee's release from prison as the date the labour relation had ended considering prison as a legal reason that prevented him from reporting to work. Thus, his claim of dues for the four-year period was invalid, the court ruled. The Appeals Court said according to Article 6 of the Labour Law, it is invalid to claim civil dues after the lapse of one year, under all circumstances. Accordingly, the court rejected the appeal and upheld the civil court's verdict. It ordered the plaintiff to pay court fees.

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