With Judgment no. 12632/2021 of 12 May 2021, the Court of Cassation once again addressed the issue of employee transfer due to environmental incompatibility in the workplace, ruling out that this amounts to mobbing if the transfer is not intended to persecute the employee, rather to restore serenity in the workplace. The ruling derives from a case brought by a commander of the Ancona Municipal police force to obtain compensation for damages suffered as a result of persecutory conduct of the Municipality, which had ultimately transferred the commander to a different office. The Court of Appeal of Ancona, confirming the decision of the first instance court, held that the claimant’s requests were groundless; specifically, it held that the transfer had taken place “in a situation of difficult interpersonal relations which exacerbated tensions and problems to the extent that it certainly represented a condition of environmental incompatibility”. The claimant appealed against this decision before the Court of Cassation. The Court, with order no. 26684/2017, partially upheld the appeal and referred the case back to the Court of Appeal of Ancona, which, considering the shortcomings in the motivation, was to proceed with a new assessment of the case in accordance with the principles of law referred to by the Court of Cassation whereby “the qualifying element of mobbing is not the lawfulness or unlawfulness of individual acts, rather the persecutory intent that unifies them, which must be proven by the person who claims to have suffered the harassing conduct and which the trial judge must ascertain or exclude, taking into account all the circumstances of the case”.
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