The Court of Cassation has recently confirmed that the ‘abusive’ use of leave to care for disabled family members, as referred to in Article 33, par. 3 of Italian Law no. 104 of 1992, not only justifies dismissal, but can also be ascertained by private investigators. In this case, the employee had challenged his dismissal for just cause communicated by the company which, following an investigation, had ascertained that the employee, during the days in which he had taken leave under Law 104/1992 to assist his mother, had carried out activities that were incompatible with assisting his parent (going shopping and engaging in recreational activities). His dismissal was confirmed by the trial judges, who held that termination of employment without notice was lawful since the ‘wilfully serious’ violations committed by the employee prevented the temporary continuation of employment as they damaged the fiduciary link between the parties to the relationship. The Court also recognised the lawfulness of the investigation carried out by the company to verify the existence of unlawful acts committed by the employee while taking leave. The employee appealed against this decision before the Court of Cassation, challenging the decision on the merits, mainly with regard to the lawfulness of the checks carried out by the company, for the latter had not informed the employee of these checks and how they were carried out so that they were detrimental to the dignity of the employee and were contrary to privacy legislation.
Continue reading the full version published in Norme & Tributi Plus Diritto of Il Sole 24 Ore.