World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Dyncorp Last Minute U-turn In Whistleblowing Case

PRESS RELEASE

Dyncorp’s Last Minute U-turn In Whistleblowing Case

Dyncorp, the US company, which dealt with the contracts of American officers working for the international police force in Bosnia and who has recently won the contract to supply police officers to Iraq, has withdrawn their appeal against Southampton Employment Tribunal’s decision that they unfairly dismissed Kathryn Bolkovac

Kathryn Bolkovac, a former member of the international peacekeeping task force in Bosnia, was demoted and then dismissed after revealing that UN peacekeepers went to night-clubs where girls as young as 15 were forced to dance naked and have sex with customers. She also informed her employers that UN personnel and international aid workers were linked to prostitution rings in the Balkans.

The employment tribunal ordered Dyncorp to pay her £110,221. In the tribunal hearing the panel criticised Dyncorp’s "extraordinary attitude" towards Ms Bolkovac. The chairman, Charles Twiss, said: "It is hard to imagine a case in which a firm has acted in a more callous, spiteful and vindictive manner towards a former employee."

The appeal was due to be heard on Friday 2nd May 2003, however Dyncorp unexpectedly withdrew their appeal at the last minute and have now paid the damages awarded to Ms Bolkovac plus interest. The reversal of Dyncorp’s stance was attributed to a “change in the culture” of the organisation, following the sale of the company to Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), an information technology company. There would appear to have been now change in Dyncorp’s internal structure and Miss Bolkovac remains sceptical about whether the change of ownership will make the Iraqi population any less likely to suffer the same fate as some of the women and children in Bosnia. She stated “CSC/Dyncorp has the same managers and employees in high level and consulting positions who were involved in my demotion and my dismissal. I am pleased that my position is vindicated by Dyncorp’s eventual acceptance of the tribunal decision. However, I remain concerned that any changes will only be cosmetic and vulnerable people will continue to be at risk. I hope that now that my claim has proved successful, any other people who uncover wrong doing will not be afraid of speaking out.”

Miss Bolkovac was also concerned that Dyncorp continued to receive substantial contracts from the US Government when there appeared to have been no real scrutiny of the issues that she and another former employee Ben Johnston complained about. Mr Johnston was also dismissed after raising his concerns. Dyncorp settled his case within hours of the decision in Miss Bolkovac’s case.

The case is interesting from a legal perspective in that there are still relatively few rulings on whistle blowing cases. Further, Ms. Bolkovac’s lawyers believe that this is the first case in which a tribunal has ruled that the public interest disclosure related to “an exceptionally serious failure” on the part of the employers. Another uncommon feature of the case was that Miss Bolkovac, whose contract with Dyncorp only had two more months to run, recovered continuing losses associated with her dismissal together with a substantial sum for injury to feelings, which is unusual in breaches of contract. The sum for injury to feelings included aggravated damages for the way in which her dismissal was handled.

Miss Bolkovac’s solicitors, Bailey Wright & Co. said, “I hope the result encourages other employees to speak out about wrong doing, but I also hope that they do not have to go through the same ordeal as Miss Bolkovac. She will never be able to work again within the international community, because of the influence that Dyncorp has. She loved her job and was good at it. Given Dyncorp’s increasing influence in sensitive areas of the world, I hope the US State department has a good look at their practices. It should make sure that they make every effort to employ more people like Kathy and root out those who participated in trafficking and/or dismissed her for speaking out about it.”

For further information contact Kathryn Bolkovac on 0031-629047561 or Karen Bailey on 0121 244 6600.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>

ALSO:

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news