(Czech Supreme Court Judgment of 20 January 2016, No. 21 Cdo 4902/2014)

In its judgment, the Supreme Court dealt with the (im)permissibility of immediate dismissal because of a “love affair with a senior employee of an important trade partner, a husband and father”.

The court heard a case in which the defendant had dismissed the claimant with immediate effect for gross breach of obligations ensuing from legislation pertaining to the work performed by the claimant in the meaning of § 55(1)(b) of Act No. 262/2006 Coll., the Labor Code (“LC”). The defendant justified the legitimacy of this process by the above mentioned love affair, which in the defendant’s words “violated the principle of loyalty to the employer and the principle of good morals”.

The Supreme Court concluded the private relationship that arose in the case at hand cannot be classified a breach of any obligation of the claimant as an employee in the meaning of the provision of § 301 of the LC, and therefore concluded that where the defendant complains because the claimant has entered into a love affair with a senior employee of a business partner, it fails properly to distinguish between the personal and private relationships of the employee, on one hand, and her work relationships, on the other. In the view of the Supreme Court, the given relationship thus cannot constitute grounds for immediate dismissal.