DLP Insights

Dismissal of line manager who harasses female colleagues outside work (Norme & Tributi Plus Diritto – Il Sole 24 Ore – 30 January 2024- Enrico De Luca, Raffaele Di Vuolo)

Categories: DLP Insights, Publications, News, Publications | Tag: Dismissal, Dismissal for just cause

31 Jan 2024

In judgment no. 35066 of 14 December 2023, the employment division of the Italian Court of Cassation confirmed that an employee’s conduct outside work can irreparably damage the duty of mutual trust between the parties if it has only the potential objective capacity to impact the relationship and undermines the expectations of the future proper fulfilment of the working obligations, in relation to the specific duties or the specific activity.

The case on which the Court was asked to rule arose from an employee’s dismissal for just cause. The employee was a team leader with coordinating duties, who had, at different times, engaged in abusive and, moreover, violent relationships outside work with two female colleagues, demonstrating to them that he was immune from limits and discipline, also in view of his position. Such conduct, in the view of the employer bank, had been seriously prejudicial to the female colleagues and to the bank itself.

The first instance judges upheld the lawfulness of the dismissal, on the basis that the conduct alleged against the worker qualified as harassment at work and, as such, justified the sanction of dismissal.

The worker has appealed to the Italian Court of Cassation, alleging, among other grounds, misapplication of Article 2105 of the Italian Civil Code, on the basis that his conduct to be taken into consideration should refer only to the private (or rather outside work) context and consequently, on the one hand, is not relevant for disciplinary purposes and, on the other hand, cannot prove a breach of the duty of mutual trust as it cannot be used to call into question the proper performance of the employee’s duties.

Read the full version at Norme e Tributi Plus Diritto. Norme e Tributi Plus Diritto.

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