Today's Labour News

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labourcourtsIOL News reports that the Labour Court in Gqeberha has ruled that LexisNexis must employ a man whose signed contract was revoked after the company learned that he had a criminal record dating back from 2001.

Elsworth John O’Connor applied for a job at LexisNexis in December 2023 in response to an advert. He went through the interview process and on 20 January 2024 he was notified via email by Natasha Singhe that his interview had been successful. He was required to furnish the company with more information in order to continue processing his application, which included a RefCheck Consent and Indemnity Form. In the form, O’Connor admitted to having been previously criminally charged, but explained that the charge emanated from a theft in 2001 and it had since been expunged. On 30 January 2024 he was emailed a contract of employment and the document was signed electronically by both parties that same day. Nine days before he could resume his duties, Singh sent an email stating that the company was now “retracting” the “conditional offer” of employment because the criminal check had revealed six counts of theft, one count of fraud, and two counts of defeating the course of justice. O’Connor went to the CCMA, but LexisNexis did not attend the conciliation and a certificate of non-resolution was issued. O’Connor then went to the Labour Court. Judge Mark Meyerowitz pointed out that according to the Employment Equity Act, excluding an applicant from employment on the basis of a criminal history would constitute unfair discrimination in circumstances where that criminal history was irrelevant to the requirements of the job. He noted that O’Connor’s history was not relevant to the job, which would be conducted remotely from his home. LexisNexis was ordered to employ O’Connor within 10 days after judgment was made.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Brenda Masilela at IOL News

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