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Dismissal of employee who wanted clarification was unjustified

June 2009 - Employment. Legal Developments by Norrbom Vinding Law Firm, member of ius laboris.

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An employer was not justified in dismissing an employee who asked for clarification and discussion of work responsibilities and priorities.

Jakob Arffmann
jar@norrbomvinding.com

An employer was not justified in dismissing an employee who asked for clarification and discussion of work responsibilities and priorities

The case concerned an employee who was on sick leave. According to her, the sick leave was caused by various factors, such as her diffuse working situation. She therefore sent an email to her employer, explaining that her coach did not think she should return to work until her situation had been clarified - among other things, by a job description, a bonus plan and information about her employer's priorities. The employer had arranged the contact between the employee and the coach.

 

After receiving the email, the employer held a meeting with the employee and dismissed her because the employer had lost confidence in her. The employee then sued for unfair dismissal.

 

The Eastern High Court agreed with the employee. The issues raised in her email were not ultimate demands, only requests for clarification of her work responsibilities and priorities. On those grounds, she was awarded compensation of DKK 50 000.

 

Norrbom Vinding notes: 

  • that the case shows that dismissing an employee who simply wishes to open a dialogue with the employer to clarify work responsibilities and priorities will not be justified

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