KUWAIT CITY, Jan 7: About 50 percent of the cases filed by employees representing various contractors having contractual relationships with major concerns including Camp Arifjan have been approved by the Experts Committee under the Court of First Instance.
Lawyer Masaed J. Al Riyahi, who represents the employees and has been fighting their cases since the beginning of last year, was speaking to the Arab Times recently. The employees, who are mainly Westerners, have charged their contractors with labor law violations.
The contractors forced the employees to work up to 12 hours a day without adequate compensation as stipulated in the labor law, Al Riyahi added. “Many of the employees were made to work on public holidays without any extra pay.”
Al Riyahi said that he first approached the Ministry of Labor Affairs as per the norm; but when all attempts to hammer out an amicable settlement fell through, the ministry referred the cases to the Court of First Instance.
The court ordered Al Riyahi to present separate reports on all his clients with details of their salaries and the violations they suffered. The reports were then handed over to an Experts Committee in the court.
The committee has approved more than half of the reports, and is continuing to study the rest, Al Riyahi noted. The full study will be submitted to the court in the next 3 to 4 months. “There is a strong chance that the reports approved by the committee will be accepted by the court, and the employees will get a favorable verdict.”
Some cases pertaining to the lack of indemnity payment for employees who were terminated on grounds of taking their contractors to the court were also taken up by Riyahi. “Many contractors were ordered to pay up and some employees with more than 10 years’ service record received huge indemnities.”
Riyahi added that indemnity claims have to be made within a year from the date of termination. Even if the case is filed a day after the completion of one year, the court will dismiss it as invalid.
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