Firing an employee doesn’t end the employer's woes. They later meet in court and keep arguing about the reasons for dismissal and unpaid wages. It is important to prepare in advance before dismissing a difficult employee to have an advantage in court. With this issue, our client - director of the Ukraine office of an international trading company with a staff of more than 130 people - came to us.
ILF lawyers under the guidance of partner Serhiy Silchenko studied the company’s personnel documentation (labor contracts, employment applications, orders) as well as internal acts and prepared an action plan for dismissal along with the necessary documents. Expiration of the employment contract became the grounds for dismissal. In December 2016, the director issued the dismissal order and notified the employee about the need to show up to receive his labor book. However, to evade or postpone the dismissal, the employee took 2 months’ sick leave and after returning to work received the labor book and compensation for unused vacation.
The employee still went to court demanding to declare the labor contract’s expiration date invalid and reinstate him, citing his continual work, unlawfulness of dismissal during sick leave and violation of the dismissal order. He also demanded to be paid an average monthly wage for the period of forced absence as well as compensation for emotional distress.
During dismissal, it is critical to take into account the current employment contract and comply with all procedures and deadlines, particularly to give the employee written notice of the dismissal for him to sign or send him an insured notification letter, indicating legally correct information (in accordance with court practice and the law) in the dismissal documents. In our case, it was necessary to refer to paragraph 2, Art. 36 of the Labor Code and indicate "dismissed in connection with the expiration of the employment contract” in the labor book. The employee may demand unused vacation, which would prolong the employment contract for the period of leave, so that dismissal would occur on the day the leave ends.
In view of all this, ILF lawyers and the client's team handled the dismissal and successfully proved in court that the fixed-term employment contract was legal and dismissal occurred in accordance with the labor law and the employment contract. At the first hearing, the court ruled in favor of our client, protecting him from a UAH 150,000 suit.