In a judgment dated 29 March 2017 (decision no. 8136) the Supreme Court has held that the disciplinary dismissal of an employee, who (accidentally) became aware of the employer's intention to dismiss him before his side of the case was examined (as required by the disciplinary procedure), was lawful where the effective communication of the dismissal was made in accordance with the relevant provisions of the law.
In this case, the company had started disciplinary proceedings against an executive who was alleged to have made an improper use of the company credit card and to have made bad business decisions on behalf of the company. During the disciplinary process, the employee had discovered, from a confidential e-mail (sent to a third party), that the employer wanted to dismiss him even before considering his justifications as required by the disciplinary procedure.
The employee, therefore, challenged the dismissal, claiming a breach of art. 7 of Law no. 300/1970 regarding disciplinary procedures.
The Supreme Court has clarified that even if the time period of 5 days, provided by art. 7 paragraph 5 of the Law no. 300/70, is aimed at allowing an employee to submit their justifications in response to receipt of a disciplinary allegation letter, the point at which the employer's intention to dismiss the employee is formed is irrelevant; what matters is only the point at which the communication of dismissal is made. It follows that, where a resolution of the board is adopted to dismiss an employee before the expiry of the term for the employee to present their justifications, this will not invalidate the dismissal.