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Can an employee be fired for insulting his/her superior?

Can an employee be fired for insulting his/her superior?

LEGAL DIGEST \ 20.03.2019

The Federal Labor and Employment Service (known in Russian as ‘Rostrud’) reminded companies that all procedures established by employment legislation must be complied with when an employee is dismissed for being rude in the workplace.

For an employee’s ill-mannered behaviour to become a disciplinary offence, the requirement for a respectful attitude towards his/her colleagues and management needs to be enshrined in a document. This can be done in the employment agreement with the employee, in his/her job description or in an internal regulation which he/she has read against his/her signature.

If such a requirement exists, a disciplinary sanction can be imposed on the employee for breaching it. This can be done as follows:

  • the employee’s offence must be documented (e.g. a statement or a memo stating that labour discipline has been breached must be drawn up);
  • a written explanation must be then requested from the employee; such explanation must be submitted within 2 business days after the request; if the employee ignores the request, the company must draw up a certificate to that effect;
  • next, an order applying a disciplinary sanction must be issued; it should be brought to the attention of the employee, or a statement detailing the employee’s refusal to read it must be drawn up.

Then, if the employee repeats the violation, a disciplinary sanction in the form of dismissal for a repeated failure to fulfil job duties can be applied to the employee. To this end, the following conditions must be met:

  • the employee must have a disciplinary sanction (reprimand, admonition) that has not been lifted or cancelled;
  • the second or a subsequent offence must be also formalized as required by law: such new offences must be documented; explanations must be requested from the employee; and the statement of the disciplinary sanction must be brought to the employee’s attention;
  • an order for dismissal must be issued and brought to the employee’s attention (a certificate must be drawn up if the employee refuses to read the order and a note must be made it); an entry concerning dismissal must then be made in the employee’s work record book and data card.

If at least one of the above conditions is not met, the company cannot dismiss the employee for being rude to his/her superior. If all required procedures have been complied with, court decisions confirm that the employee is dismissed on lawful grounds in such a situation.

Please contact Acsour’s specialists with regard to how internal regulations must be formalized which will mitigate the risks for the employer.