Slovak Republic, Supreme Court, Decision No. 36/2005, File No. 2 Cdo 67/03

Ms X.Y. (the claimant) had worked as a nurse in the Hospital in the city of Velký Krtíš (the employer) since November 30, 1998.  On April 11, 2002, the claimant received a notice of the termination of her employment due to her failure to take an oath in accordance with new legislation.  The new legislation came into force on April 1, 2002, when the claimant was on maternity leave.  The notification of the new legal prerequisite was posted in the halls of the hospital making it almost impossible for workers on maternity leave to be informed.  The claimant sued the employer for unlawful termination of employment, arguing that the termination was discriminatory on the grounds of her gender.  The district court ruled in favor of the claimant; however, on appeal the regional court quashed the decision and dismissed the case.  The claimant appealed to the Supreme Court which held that the termination was unlawful for a number of reasons.  Firstly, the employer failed to perform its legal obligations to enable the claimant to take the oath. Secondly, the acts of the employer with respect to the termination of employment were discriminatory.  The employer had disadvantaged a certain group of its employees, in particular those on maternity leave, by failing to provide them with notice about the new requirement to take the oath, breaching the prohibition of discrimination established in labor relations.  This was in breach of the prohibition of discrimination under Section 13 of the Labor Code of the Slovak Republic.  Lastly, the Supreme Court held that the employer had abused its rights as an employer, which is in violation of moral principals.  The Supreme Court further held that the termination would have been lawful if the employer had duly informed the claimant about the new regulations and provided her with a chance to comply with them, and ordered a re-examination of the issue by the district court.



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