Question-> I have issues with the abuse of employees rights by using transfers as intimidation, what can an employee faced with such abuse do legally?
Transfer of employees, is an inherent right of the employer, however, it should not be made in bad faith or effected as a form of punishment. When abused employees have a right to challenge such transfer orders. An employee is only required to obey lawful and reasonable orders from his employer. An employer may only summarily dismiss an employee if the employee is guilty of gross misconduct.
Under article 41 (1) of the Constitution of Kenya, every person has the right to fair labour practices. Further, Section 44 of the Employment Act No. 11 of 2007 provides an employer may summarily dismiss an employee who has by his conduct fundamentally breached his obligation under the contract.
In Konig v Kanjee Naranjee Properties Limited  EA 233, Law JA noted that, ‘a master is entitled to dismiss his servant summarily for willful disobedience of his master’s lawful and reasonable orders, which is his duty to obey.’
When a transfer order is used to intimidate an employee, the transfer is tantamount to constructive dismissal. Constructive dismissal, occurs when an employee is forced to resign due to their employer’s intolerable behavior. Since the resignation is involuntary, it is in effect a termination. Constructive dismissal leads to the employee's obligations ending and the employee has the right to make claims against the employer.
Where there is found to be breach of contract of employment the only remedy an employee has is to claim damages. In the case of Okongo v Attorney General & Another 1998 KLR 742 held that:
“At common law, by which this court was guided on contract, specific performance of a contract of service has never been ordered because the court has felt it impossible to force the services of an employee onto an employer, when the latter has lost all confidence and trust in the employee.”
In conclusion, like all other rights, the right of the employer to transfer employees is limited. The right should be exercise fairly, otherwise the employee has the right to challenge unreasonable orders from his employer.