In 2013 the National Industrial Court (NIC) ushered in a new labour law regime with regard to workplace sexual harassment when it held an employer vicariously liable for acts of sexual harassment perpetrated against one of its employees. Based on the NIC's decision, employers which learn of workplace sexual harassment and take no administrative decision to investigate it may be liable for breaching their duty of care to their employees by failing to protect their fundamental rights.
It is clear from the #metoo #hertoo and #timesup campaigns – as well as the numerous allegations of sexual harassment levied against perceived industry leaders – that combating sexual harassment is a global concern. Thankfully, it seems that such conduct will no longer be condoned, considered tenable or swept swiftly and easily under the corporate carpet. This article examines employees' rights in the workplace under Nigerian law.
A foreign employee recently secured a landmark judgment in the National Industrial Court in relation to redundancy benefits that he had claimed while employed by the defendant. The judgment reinforces the well-established principle of interpreting the plain and ordinary meaning of employment contracts and strengthens the position of local and foreign employees seeking to enforce their rights where these are clearly provided for in their respective employment contracts, policies or handbooks.