The appeal of a mechanic fired for working on his own while on sick leave was firmly dismissed

The Superior Court of Justice (TSJ) of Castilla La Mancha has dismissed the appeal presented by a mechanic who was fired for working as a self-employed person when he was on sick leave due to temporary disability in a case that once again highlights the importance of private investigation to gather accurate information in the event of possible lawsuits that give rise to subsequent judicial proceedings.

The events date back to the end of the summer of 2022, when the worker in question requested and obtained the aforementioned medical leave due to a contusion, caused by crushing, on the middle finger of his right hand that prevented him from carrying out his work as a mechanic normally. condition for which he underwent a series of cures at a health center during the months of September and October.

But this inability was denied thanks to the evidence provided by a detective hired by Autodesguaces Villarrobledo, S.L., a company located in the town of Albacete with the same name where he worked, who discovered and demonstrated that the employee took advantage of his situation to work for himself, both in his own home, which he had previously adapted, and in other workshops in the area, which ultimately led to his dismissal and which was the cause alleged by the company in the corresponding letter.

In this document, the company speaks of a “simulation” that clearly harms the company that regularly contributes to the worker, since at the very least it slows down his healing and unjustifiably prolongs his leave due to temporary disability, which, based on the agreement Collectively, it constitutes a “very serious breach of contract”, either due to disloyalty or by simulating an accident or illness. The workshop sent him a letter via Burofax that was not picked up at the Post Office by the mechanic, who demanded his dismissal in court.

 

Justice endorses in the first instance the admissibility of the dismissal

 

In a ruling handed down on September 5, 2023, the Social Court No. 3 of Albacete, in charge of investigating the case, declared the dismissal admissible, dismissing the claim in the first instance, a decision after which the mechanic filed an appeal before the TSJ of Castilla-La Mancha. In it he argued that “the alleged acts do not constitute a serious breach that justifies disciplinary dismissal.”

But in its ruling 243/2024 the High Court has again rejected the worker’s request, clearly showing its disagreement with the justification given and confirming that “the facts alleged and proven […] constitute a serious breach of contract.” and guilty”, which is expressly “typed in the applicable collective agreement, which justifies disciplinary dismissal”. Consequently, the TSJ magistrates conclude that by being on sick leave and working on his own account, the mechanic breached contractual good faith.

It is evident that in the field of conflicts and disagreements of a labor nature, effective investigation work carried out by professionals has become an increasingly important tool for companies to obtain success in their different litigations.

 

The appeal for the dismissal of a mechanic is dismissed

Justice firmly rejects the appeal of a mechanic fired for working on his own when he was on sick leave due to temporary disability.

justice, fair dismissal, appeal, final judgment, mechanic, company, detective, private investigation



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