Severance pay in case of serious culpability?
The Dutch law states that in the event of dismissal, the employee is entitled to a transition payment. With this transitional compensation, the ex-employee can bridge the time between the old and new job. However, this right can be lost if the dismissal is a result of serious culpable actions of the employee himself. In this article, our Amsterdam employment law attorney, Paul Snijders, explains this based on a ruling.
Sexually transgressive behavior and dismissal in The Netherlands
In order to understand why the employee lost his right to transitional compensation, our labor law specialist briefly discusses the facts of the case.
After a day at work, the employee had a conversation with a female colleague of his in the parking lot of their work. During this conversation, the man asked about her relationship status and in what way she satisfied herself at home. When the woman wanted to drive away, he touched her breasts and made a comment about it. On the whatsapp the woman then addressed the man about his behavior and he apologized.
On her next working day, the woman reported this sexually transgressive behavior and 2 days later the man was summarily fired.
Lawyer: no immediate dismissal after unacceptable behaviour
The man challenged his dismissal in a Dutch court. He found, among other things, that his dismissal was not given without delay. According to our labor lawyer, this means that a summary dismissal must be given immediately. However, both the subdistrict court and the court of appeal disagreed. After the notification, the employer acted immediately and the Board of Directors was asked to approve the dismissal.
No extenuating circumstances for summary dismissal in case of sexually excessive behavior
Both courts found the man’s sexually transgressive behavior reason enough for a summary dismissal. Our employment law specialist likes to add that the consequences of dismissal must always be considered. The man was 58, was going through a divorce and had difficulty finding a new job. Nevertheless, the conduct was so serious that the immediate dismissal was justified.
No transitional compensation for sexually excessive behavior
The man had been employed by the employer for 15 years and could therefore have been entitled to a high transitional allowance. As mentioned in the introduction, you lose the right to a transitional compensation if the dismissal is a result of your own culpable actions. The man found this unacceptable on the basis of reasonableness and fairness, but did not substantiate this with concrete facts or circumstances.
Contact with an employment lawyer in Amsterdam about summary dismissal
Are you looking for commitment and a direct, personal contact with an experienced employment law specialist in Amsterdam about sexual transgression? Call our specialized lawyer in employment and dismissal law for questions and legal advice on employment law, dismissal, transitional compensation or transgressive behavior.