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Dec 17, 2015

Former B.S.I. Employee’s Wrongful Termination Suit Dismissed

Julio Ramon Gongora Jr.

A B.S.I. employee was terminated after thirty-one years on the job as an Electrical and Instrumental Technician.  He took his case to court in hope of being re-instated or in the alternative, seeking damages for unlawful dismissal or wrongful dismissal. Julio Roman Gongora Junior also claimed that B.S.I. promoted him to permanent staff, then terminated him wrongfully as a form of “union busting “ and in breach of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and Labour Act of Belize.   But in court today all hopes went through the door when his case was dismissed by Justice Michelle Arana.  The judge reached her decision taking into consideration three matters.  These are, if Gongora was intoxicated at the time he entered the B.S.I. compound on March second, 2012 and if so, did he breach B.S.I.’s policy on substance abuse and is Gongora entitled to relief? Many witnesses testified including Factory Manager John Gillett and Chief Security Officer Lyle Tillett concluding that Gongora was in fact intoxicated on the job site. In reaching a conclusion, Judge Arana found that while there was no evidence of a drug test to determine the issue of intoxication on a balance of probabilities, Gongora was heavily intoxicated when he arrived on the B.S.I. compound to the point where he could barely walk. She also found that Gongora’s behaviour was clearly a breach of B.S.I.’s policy against substance abuse and as such his case was dismissed.  Today in court for the ruling, B.S.I .was represented by substitute attorney, Yohhanseh Cave of Young’s Law Firm, while Magali Marin represented Gongora Junior.

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