The Supreme Court recently issued three decisions regarding the validity of dismissals following disciplinary procedures and the evaluation of proportionality between the alleged conduct of employees and the decision to dismiss them.
Supreme Court Decision 8246/2016 examined the applicability of the guarantees provided in disciplinary proceedings under Article 7 of the Workers' Statute to executives. If an employer fails to conduct a disciplinary procedure correctly, its ability to dismiss an employee (even for valid reasons) will be compromised. As a result, the validity of a dismissal will determine the consequences provided for by law (ie, payment in lieu of notice) and as provided by collective bargaining; additional compensation may be paid to industrial executives.
Supreme Court Decision 8248/2016 examined a dismissal regarding an employee's legal disability and resulting "lack of fitness to perform contractual duties". The case involved a company that dismissed an employee who was officially recognised as blind. The company argued that it became aware of the employee's disability only after it was officially recognised and he was unable to perform his job. The court decided that the dismissal was void under Article 3 of Law 108/90 on discriminatory dismissal due to disability.
Supreme Court Decision 8236/2016 examined a disciplinary procedure. It focused on the evaluation of proportionality under Article 2106 of the Civil Code. Pursuant to Article 1455 of the Civil Code, the minimum requirement for dismissal is a breach of "no little importance", which includes a significant breach of discipline that constitutes a subjective justification for dismissal.
The Supreme Court judgments confirm that when determining the validity of dismissals, there must be consistency between the employee's alleged conduct, the acts committed and the assessment of their gravity with regard to contractual obligations.
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