10/23/2014 Dismissal during sick leave

Just recently the Supreme Court had to deal with a case, where an employee misbehaved during sick leave. Case and decision read as follows:
An employee wanted to have a free day on Saturday in order to travel earlier to her family to Serbia. As the employer needed her for this Saturday, he didn’t agree to this day off. Later, the employee was on sick leave (due to an inflammation of her throat) in the same week she has originally requested the free day off. The doctor issued a sick certificate from Thursday until Saturday. Additionally, he has told her to rest but allowed her to leave the house from 9-11 and 2-5. Additionally, she was prescribed antibiotics. On Saturday (i.e. during her sick leave) this employee drove together with her husband to Serbia (by car). During this journey, the employer has called her and has spoken out the dismissal.

The Supreme Court has decided that the dismissal was effective, because a travel, which lasts several hours didn’t fasten her recovery, but rather might have led to a worsening of her state of health and she should have been aware of this.

Despite of this decision, employers need to be careful when employees misbehave during sick leave, and should ask for legal advice prior to dismissal. Certainly, this is a very delicate topic and each case is individual, thus might be treated differently.

If you have any questions, please just send a mail to welcome@huebner.at or contact one of our specialists directly.

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