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Bülach District Court recognises claim for abusive dismissal as a result of whistleblowing.

In its decision of 14 December 2021, the Bülach District Court upheld the claim of an insurance employee dismissed for whistleblowing and awarded him three months' wages for unfair dismissal. 

The unfairly dismissed plaintiff succeeded in proving that there was a direct causal link between his bona fide SpeakUp report on the company's designated internal channels and the dismissal pronounced immediately after the conclusion of the company's internal whistleblowing procedure. The court did not believe the insurance company's assertions that the termination was due to alleged "difficult behaviour" on the part of the plaintiff, for which the defendant was unable to provide any evidence. Rather, based on the defendant's claim that it had waited until the conclusion of the internal investigation, the court concluded that there was a direct link between the whistleblowing report and the termination, as the defendant would obviously not have terminated the employment if the report had been assessed as accurate by the internal compliance unit and had led to measures being taken.     

The plaintiff is the current owner of iclaims.ch. The ruling shows that also in the canton of Zurich and in Switzerland in general, employees are protected from dismissal if they report irregularities in good faith on channels set up by the employer. The employer has to tolerate such reports within the framework of his duty of care and also on the basis of the constitutional freedom of expression and is not entitled to issue a dismissal immediately after the conclusion of an internal company investigation. If he nevertheless does so, the causal link between the whistleblowing report and the dismissal is given if the employee succeeds in showing this causal link. 

However, Swiss labour law provides for a maximum compensation of six months' salary for abusive dismissals - apart from the plaintiff having to prove that the dismissal was abusive, which is a high hurdle in itself. However, the much higher damage caused to the employees concerned and to the unemployment insurance is often not compensated by far if they do not find an equally well-paid job very quickly, which is practically impossible, especially in the case of older employees as in the present case. Nevertheless, the Swiss Code of Obligations leaves open the possibility of claiming additional damages under other legal titles. This should be the case here, as the plaintiff has demonstrably suffered damages of several hundred thousand Swiss francs due to the violation of employment contract provisions together with the unemployment insurance. On the one hand, this was because there was (partial) unemployment for almost two and a half years and, on the other hand, because the wages earned were more than a third lower than before the dismissal.

Read the judgement: Link


EU works on safer vehicles for safer citizens:

The EU introduces a new regulation imposing enhanced safety standards for car manufacturers in order to significantly reduce the number of road casualties and injuries. Member states' ambassadors meeting in the Council's Permanent Representatives Committee today approved the provisional deal reached between the Romanian presidency and the European Parliament on a draft regulation on the general safety of motor vehicles and the protection of vehicle occupants and vulnerable road users.

According to Niculae Bădălău, Romanian Minister for economy,  this new regulation will contribute to the objective of significantly reducing the number of fatalities and severe injuries on EU roads through the measures for the protection of vehicle occupants and vulnerable road users. Starting from 2022, new technologies and systems will become mandatory for new vehicles of different types. The new regulation will also provide an opportunity for EU car manufacturers to consolidate their leadership on innovative vehicle safety systems.

Read more

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 Beratung und Vertretung bei Unfall, Krankheit, Invalidität, Arbeitslosigkeit, SpeakUp, Whistleblowing