If losing your job wasn’t bad enough, being sued by your former employer might be the icing on the cake. With friends like that, who needs enemas? You’ll recall that we told you about the group of 40 or so former employees who have banded together to file a grievance with the FIA and seek legal action against Caterham Formula 1 team and its new owners. It now seems the shoe is on the other hand, as it were, with Caterham saying this in an official statement today:
“Caterham F1 Team has read with great concern recent reports about a group of individuals who are claiming unfair dismissal from the Formula 1 team following its takeover by new owners.
The team is now taking legal action against those parties representing the individuals concerned, and each person involved, seeking compensation for the damages suffered by the team due to the gross misrepresentation of the facts made by all those concerned.
These claims include the statement that they have been released from Caterham F1 Team – this is incorrect. Caterham F1 Team’s staff are employed by a company that is a supplier to the company that holds its F1 licence, the licence that allows it to compete in the Formula 1 World Championship.
Additionally, the team has read claims that its staff were not paid in July – again, this is wholly untrue. Every individual currently employed by Caterham F1 Team was paid their July salary in full on 25th July, one week before it is formally due on the last day of the month, in this case 31st July.
A formal request for the withdrawal of the relevant press statement issued on 28th July has been made by Caterham F1 Team and the team will vigorously pursue its action against all those concerned. However, it will not allow its core focus to be distracted from achieving tenth place in the 2014 Formula 1 World Championship, and building for the 2015 campaign and beyond.”
It’s the old subcontract clause meaning that the employees were not actually employed by the Caterham Formula 1 team but by a company who supplied labor for the team. It’s unclear in this statement as to if the new owners actually own this other entity as well but it seems to suggest that it doesn’t but the wording in this statement is very vague.
Either way, it could get ugly for both sides before its all said and done.