Right to criticize and dismissal: when the worker is justified (Il Quotidiano del Lavoro de Il Sole 24 Ore, 30 May 2018 – Alberto De Luca, Gabriele Scafati)
With judgment No. 11645/18, the Court of Cassation made clear once again its opinion on the relation between the right of criticism, protected under the Constitution, and the civil duty of loyalty and honesty in the relationship between employees and employers.
In the case in question, an employee of a famous telephony company had been fired after having sent several emails to her superiors, complaining about her work position, using wording deemed offensive and libellous by the employer.
Even though the legitimacy of the decision before the Court of Cassation did not end favourably for the petitioning employer, the judgment offered the opportunity to summarize the interpretation of jurisprudence in the matter of the right to criticism of the employer and the related boundary of insubordination.
In particular, the case before the courts that represent the founding stone on the matter in question (Civil Court of Cassation, Labour Law, No. 1173/1986), in order to establish in practical terms within which limits the right to criticism against the employer is legitimate and as such not subjected to disciplinary dismissal, it is necessary first to verify if it meets the following requirements: if the conduct in question has been effectively damaging to the corporate reputation and to that of its managers; if the allegations that are deemed libellous have been expressed in defence of legally relevant interests and if the facts subject matter of the statement deemed libellous were real.
Read here the original version published on Il Quotidiano del Lavoro.