KUALA LUMPUR | A former sales and marketing executive, described as a “serial vexatious litigant”, was ordered to pay her ex-employer RM3,000 in costs after the Industrial Court dismissed her claim of unfair dismissal from employment.
Court chairman D Paramalingam said the cost award issued against Ching Suet Yeen “was a deterrent not only to the claimant (Ching) but also to other litigants from filing multiple claims against their former employers in order to seek financial gain”.
“Thus, by the power vested under Regulation 5 of the Industrial Relations Regulations 1967, this court orders costs of RM3,000 against the claimant to be paid to the company’s solicitors, Messrs San & Co, within 30 days of this award,” he said.
In a written award handed down yesterday, Paramalingam said the Industrial Court does not usually make an award of costs, save “in exceptional cases where the conduct of the parties become questionable”.
He said the lawyers representing employer Lepcon Tools (M) Sdn Bhd had highlighted during the proceedings that Ching had brought at least 10 other unfair dismissal claims against her previous employers since 2010.
“This clearly shows that the claimant is a serial vexatious litigant and has a habit of bringing claims against her former employers,” said Paramalingam.
He said the court would be failing in its duty if it does not jealously guard judicial time and resources, especially since the Industrial Court does not normally impose cost orders.
“The modus operandi and the frequency in which the claimant had dragged her employers for unfair dismissal cases certainly shows a worrying trend where the Industrial Court might be seen to be more of a goldmine rather than a place to seek justice,” he added.
Paramalingam pointed out that Ching was absent when her case was called up for hearing in October last year.
He said it was evident from documents submitted by the employer that Ching had not only performed poorly but had been untruthful in her job application.
“Her disclosure that her previous employer between 2018 and 2022 was Shining Engineering Enterprise was false. She had never worked in the said Shining Engineering Enterprise throughout that period, but was in fact jumping from one company to another, totalling five companies,” Paramalingam said in his 33-page award.
Paramalingam found that Lepcon Tools was justified in terminating Ching’s employment.
“Despite the company giving the claimant a further opportunity by extending her probationary period after May 16, 2022, the claimant remained stubborn and refused to improve on her work performance and attitude. It would seem that the claimant was engineering a move to get herself sacked from her employment.”
The company had no alternative and was in fact justified in issuing her with a termination letter, Paramalingam said.
Lawyers Lee Yen Jia and San Peggy represented the company.