Brit manager sues CGV Vietnam for dismissal

By Hai Duyen   June 26, 2023 | 03:45 am PT
Brit manager sues CGV Vietnam for dismissal
People queue up for tickets at a CGV theater in Ho Chi Minh City in June 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Huyen Do
A former manager of movie theater chain CGV Vietnam is seeking compensation of nearly VND6 billion ($255,000), claiming they dismissed him without reasonable cause.

However, the biggest movie theater chain of Vietnam said the man himself decided to quit. The case is set to be judged by the HCMC People’s Court on Tuesday after an eight-year dispute.

U.K. national Benedict Daniel Sullivan, 60, began working for CJ CGV Vietnam in 2012 and signed a contract to be the director of business and marketing from Jan. 1, 2014, to April 30, 2015, with a monthly salary of $4,000 plus bonus and commission. He was working in HCMC’s District 1.

Sullivan was able to bring the company valuable business deals, but on Oct. 7, 2014, CEO Dongwon Kwak unexpectedly transferred him to a CGV theater in District 7 as a floor manager, ending the contract prematurely.

Sullivan claimed that the transfer happened so that the company did not have to pay him commission for business deals he secured.

The transfer put him into a mental crisis and he was advised by his doctor to regularly take days off.

On Dec. 17, 2014, Sullivan submitted a letter of resignation from the director of business and marketing post.

CGV terminated its business contract with him the next day.

Sullivan, however, said that he only resigned from the director post but that did not mean he was no longer with the company. He only gave up his position as a director, and his business contract with the company was supposed to remain intact.

He argued that according to the contract CGV was supposed to inform him of a termination four months in advance, but that never happened.

Sullivan, therefore, requested the company to pay him nearly VND6 billion in compensation, including salary and subsidy for the remaining months in the contract, business-class air ticket to the U.K., commission for the business deals he secured, and compensation for the damage caused by terminating the contract early.

CGV, however, disputes his claims.

The company said that it transferred him to another position because at the time it needed a foreign manager with expertise to oversee a key location as part of an important strategy.

The company only terminated its contract with Sullivan after he decided to resign, and had paid him in full all salary, subsidy, and compensation until he quit.

When submitting the letter of resignation, Sullivan was fully aware that he was quitting the company, which was why he signed a document to hand over all business and assets to the company, CGV said.

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