A woman cleaning worker working for a subcontractor company in the western Turkish city of Bursa was dismissed without any compensation on the grounds that she had taken an empty chocolate box at the workplace. Turkey’s Supreme Court recently decided on non-payment of compensation for the fired woman.
Having worked for a subcontractor firm under a municipality in Bursa for 16 years, the woman worker saw a chocolate box in a cloakroom and took it to use it as a sewing box since she thought it was just an empty garbage box.
SHE REJECTED ACCUSATION OF BURGLARY
In the meantime, another worker called on private security guard because his/her gift box had been lost. Following an on-site examination, they alleged that the box had been taken by the cleaning lady. However, she rejected the accusation of burglary, saying that she had just taken the empty box to use it as a sewing box.
LABOR COURT: ‘DISMISSAL IS UNFAIR’
The company canceled the labor contract of the woman, who had been working at the same workplace for 16 years, without paying any occupational compensation. Following the unfair dismissal, she appealed to a local labor court in the city of Bursa. Considering that she had worked for 16 years at the same place without any disciplinary punishment, the court decided that a dismissal without compensation would be unfair for just taking a box found in a public space.
As the company appealed to the Turkish Supreme Court after the local labor court’s decision in favor of the cleaning lady, the higher court reversed the labor court’s decision. Following an 8-year-old legal process when the local court insisted on its decision, the Assembly of Civil Chambers of the Supreme Court finally concluded that the local labor court’s decision in favor of the dismissed woman had been “unlawful”.
SUPREME COURT DECIDES ON NON-PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION
The Supreme Court said that “she had appropriated a filled chocolate box”, noting that the employer part could not be expected to continue her employment after such “an untrustworthy behavior”. The higher court also decided on non-payment of the cleaning lady’s severance allowances covering around 15 years of employment.