On June 26 2017 the Supreme Court issued Decision 15864/17, which concerned an employee's dismissal for just cause on the grounds of leaving the workplace without authorisation and conducting his work in a different location.

The Rome Court of Appeal had overturned the Tribunal of Rome's decision and declared the dismissal to be lawful on the ground that the employee's conduct could not be considered to have been punished too harshly. Instead, the court stated that the employee's conduct could have caused serious damage to the company and, for this reason, the dismissal was lawful.

The employee challenged the Rome Court of Appeal's decision.

The Supreme Court has repeatedly confirmed that the existence of a just cause for dismissal must be established in relation to the seriousness of the employee's conduct and the proportionality between that conduct and any resulting penalties.

Under this principle, the Supreme Court considered that the disciplinary procedure did not relate to an unauthorised (and hence unjustified) suspension of employment. Rather, the disciplinary procedure concerned the conduct of an employee who had left the workplace allegedly for work reasons and carried out his role in a different location. The disciplinary procedure, therefore, concerned false claims of being in the workplace, which resulted in the employee receiving unjustified payment.

The Supreme Court argued that:

  • the employer had produced extensive documentation regarding the employee's output during the relevant period; and
  • the period in question did not relate to any activity carried out outside of the workplace.

Moreover, it emerged from the documentation provided that on the days indicated, the employee had performed his activity in the office and not remotely.

In the light of the above, the Supreme Court considered the employee's dismissal to be lawful.

For further information on this topic please contact Andrea Stanchi at Stanchi Studio Legale by telephone (+39 02 546 9522) or email ([email protected]).