Spanish Court Rules Employee Can be Fired for Job Abandonment During Pandemic - Reports

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Human Rights Act - Sputnik International, 1920, 06.12.2021
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MADRID, December 6 (Sputnik) - The High Court of Madrid in Spain has ruled that it is lawful to discharge employees who fail to report for work during pandemic without a tenable reason, setting a precedent, Spanish news agency EFE reported on Monday.
In October 2020, the court's Social Chamber delivered a judgment in favor of an employer that has fired an employee for absence from work for three days in March-April on the claiming fear of infecting her parents with COVID-19. In June 2021, the court dismissed an appeal filed by the fired employee, and the has now come into force as no more appeals had been filed.
The employee signed an indefinite work contract with the employer in 2008. She was fired on April 30, after she missed three working days under the pretext of fearing to get sick or infect her parents with COVID-19.
The court ruled that the employer took all necessary sanitary measures during first waves of the pandemic and quarantine. This included employees working remotely most of the time, with only rotational personal presence at offices and those on duty provided with masks and sanitizers.
On March 23, 2020, the employee sent an e-mail to her supervisor saying that she was not going to report for duty on March 25, the court learned. The employer insisted that she come to the office, but the employee did not show up. A similar situation happened two more times, when the employee missed work on the pretext of taking care of her parents. The fourth time the employee took a sick day off claiming panic attack.
The court concluded that the company had assessed the risks of the possibility of getting infected with COVID-19 at the office as low and that the employee was not included in the group of persons at increased risk while in public places.
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