Former Nassco Ltd employee Martin King Monday told the Employment Rights Tribunal that he was fired three years ago without being given a chance to defend himself against allegations that he gave fraudulent vehicle valuations to one of the company’s major customers.
That evidence was given in the case in which he and another ex Nassco employee, St Clair Roach, are claiming unfair dismissal.
King, who was employed at Nassco Ltd for 21 years as a car sales executive, spent the hour-long session being cross examined by his legal counsel Shane Brathwaite.
His dismissal surrounded the valuation he gave to cars owned by Premier Pre-Owned Vehicles Inc and Executive Rentals, whose owner was designated a “fleet customer” – a customer who buys two or more vehicles at a time and has the privilege of having their vehicles valued without them actually being presented for valuation.
King told the tribunal’s chairman Omari Drakes and other tribunal members, John Williams and Beverley Beckles, that the owner of Premier Pre-owned Vehicles and Executive Rentals was known to Nassco for over ten years, and benefited from such a service.
However, King denied a suggestion that he gave the owner fraudulent valuations so that he could access loans from a lending facility run by Nassco.
Commenting on his dismissal, King told the tribunal that he was invited to a disciplinary hearing on June 27, 2014 and issued with a letter of termination.
He said he was not allowed to give his side of the case or bring an individual with him to the hearing, as stipulated under the Employment Rights Act.
During his testimony, King became very emotional when he was asked how his termination had impacted on his life.
With tear-filled eyes, he said: “It has impacted negatively on my marriage. My wife fell ill and she has medical bills of $3,500 a month. My last son has since suffered seizures. He now has a medical bill of $200 a month.”
King added that his mortgage was in arrears and he had to depend on one of his friends to service it, as well as pay road tax and insurance on his vehicle.
He told the tribunal that in May 2015 he was able to find temporary work at the Barbados National Oil Company (BNOC) which was carrying out its drilling programme.