The Romanian Supreme Court has ruled on the validity of terminating employment by operation of law if an employee is convicted under criminal law.

The Supreme Court ruled on 6 March 2017 in a case brought by Brasov Court of Appeal that the termination of employment based on the provisions of Art. 56(1) f) Labour Code can only be applied if the employee is actually serving a custodial sentence and thus cannot be physically present at work.

Hence the Supreme Court has put an end to the longstanding debate on whether an employment contract is deemed to be terminated by operation of law in the case of a criminal conviction, regardless of the type of criminal conviction or whether the employment contract is considered terminated by operation of law only if the employee serves a custodial sentence and thus cannot be physically present at work.

The Supreme Court’s decision is effective with regard to Brasov Court of Appeal as of the date of the ruling, and for all courts of law as of its publication in the Official Gazette.

Conclusions: If the employee receives a suspended sentence and does not have to stay away from a certain place or person related to the workplace, the employee’s employment contract is not considered terminated ipso jure.