Port of Spain, Trinidad. In Mariette Warrington v Dominica Broadcasting Corporation, the

Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) today decided that Ms. Warrington, a former General Manager of the Dominica Broadcasting Corporation (DBC), should be paid the equivalent of six months’ salary, gratuity and holiday pay totalling EC$52,3000 as damages. DBC had paid her one month’s salary and an honorarium when they terminated her, and the High Court and the Court of Appeal had upheld these payments. At the CCJ, she had requested payment of her salary for the remaining years of her contract.

However, the CCJ found she had not proved that loss and decided that “Ms. Warrington would have been entitled to the six months’ salary in lieu of notice and this amount is to be regarded in law as agreed liquidated damages”. At the root of this dispute was whether Ms Warrington’s appointment was valid. She had served the organisation under two consecutive employment contracts as the General Manager which ended in 2008. Before the end of the last contract she wrote a letter requesting further employment with the Corporation as General Manager “under similar terms and conditions” with an increased salary and protection against arbitrary termination. DBC never responded to this request. At a board meeting, some months before the contract ended, a decision was taken unanimously to re-appoint her but this decision was never communicated to Ms. Warrington, although she later learned of it.

Later the board decided to advertise the position of General Manager and Ms. Warrington applied for the position. She was the only applicant; however, the Corporation did not respond to her application. After the contract had ended Ms. Warrington was kept performing as General Manager, and early in the new period, she wrote to the Chairman of the board to inquire about her employment status but again received no answer. After some fifteen months performing as General Manager, in March 2010, the employee received a letter informing her that she was on a month to month contract and was terminated in the subsequent month…[+]