Consequences of breach of work obligations

Has your employer accused you of serious misconduct? You may well face unpleasant consequences. In the most serious cases, you may even be forced to quit your job for an hour.

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What constitutes a breach of work duties

There are a number of ways to breach work duties or work discipline, which fall into two categories:

1. Gross breaches of work duties

In the first instance, this can be a so-called serious breach of work duties. This means, for example, theft or misuse of employer’s funds, grossly abusive behaviour towards colleagues or customers, or failure to follow basic instructions in the organisation of work.

Your employer must always find out what really happened and how you were involved before punishing you with a dismissal. Depending on the circumstances, he or she should, for example, interview colleagues who were present at the incident, inspect the scene, examine related documents and so on. The employer turns into something like a criminal investigator who is on the trail of the perpetrator. The conclusion of the investigation should then be an interview with you.

The need for an investigative procedure in the workplace is illustrated by a recent case decided by the courts in Ireland. The parents of a kindergarten pupil accused a teacher of slapping their child. The school management did not want to risk a row with the parents and so decided to dismiss the teacher immediately. But the teacher did not take any chances and sued the kindergarten. She based her defence on the fact that she had been dismissed on the basis of mere allegations by the parents of the allegedly injured child, without any attempt by her superiors to find witnesses to the incident or to allow her to comment on the matter. In the end, the court found in her favour and awarded her compensation, which amounted to almost CZK 700,000.

It can be expected that a Czech court would have ruled similarly. If the employee disputes the validity of the termination, the employer has to prove in court that the reasons for the termination of the employment relationship were actually given under Czech law. If the employer fails to provide any evidence, the court will declare the termination invalid and the employee’s employment will continue. If the termination is subsequently given for another reason, usually organisational reasons, the employee is entitled to severance pay and, of course, wages for the period for which the employer should have assigned work to the employee.

I have given notice from my job

When you quit your job, we can help you defend yourself against your employer’s actions and make sure you get everything you’re entitled to from them. This includes, for example, any wages or severance pay you are owed. We provide assistance throughout the country and at a predetermined price.

2. Consistent, minor breaches of work duties

In this case, it is not a single gross violation, but rather longer-term problems with the employee that will eventually escalate. This includes, for example, constantly arriving a few minutes late, repeated smoking in the workplace, or even minor infractions against set work rules. The employee should be warned of these breaches of work duties by means of a ‘reprimand‘, which should describe exactly what he or she has done wrong and warn him or her of the possibility of dismissal.

Tip: Read how termination for poor performance works.

If the employee continues to violate his/her work duties, these offences are added up and after three “black” points are accumulated for offences of the same or different nature, the employee may be dismissed. However, the subjective and objective time limits must be observed. At least two months must have elapsed since the employer became aware of the reason for termination, but no more than one year since the reason actually arose.

What the notice must contain to be valid

First and foremost, the employer must always state the reason for the notice in the termination agreement. This must not be any reason, but only one of the reasons specified in the law. This reason must also be specifically described. As we have already announced, such a reason includes a gross breach of work duties or a consistent, less serious breach of work duties. However, the specific situation or situations need to be described in the notice and the reprimands sent to the employee need to be documented.

Tip: Avoid the hassle of invalid notice and court battles – we can help you dismiss your employees. Valid, permanent and uncontested. You can resolve everything with us in just two days, conveniently and online.

In this case, the notice will be effective immediately, i.e. for one hour. However, you may still find that many employers choose to negotiate and enter into a termination agreement with the employee. This may allow you to get, for example, severance pay from your employer, but again you will not be able to take your notice to court if you disagree with it.

How to defend your dismissal

If you get a notice of termination that you do not agree with, you need to tell your employer in writing that you do not accept the notice and insist that they continue to employ you. If your employer does not agree and insists on the notice, you will have to take legal action to have the notice declared invalid.

In making its decision, the court will take into account the validity and justification of the dismissal and may, in the meantime, award you compensation for the time you were not allowed to work.

Tip: It is best not to delay legal action, as the claim must be filed within two months of the date your employment should have ended. We will be happy to help you with this. We will conduct a careful analysis of the case and take care of preparing a pre-action notice, a lawsuit, an appeal or straight to representing you in court, where we will fight hard to enforce your rights.

How employee notice works

Just as Czech law protects employees, it also protects employers. If an employee gives an invalid notice, the employer can also go to court to demand that the employee continue to do his or her job and can also claim compensation for damages incurred as a result of the employee’s absence.

For this reason, if you are planning to give notice to your employer, do not rely on downloaded notice templates from the internet. A single mistake can cost you a lot of time, money and, most importantly, inconvenience. Instead, contact our experienced attorneys. With us, you can be sure that your notice will be valid and you will not lose anything you are entitled to under your employment contract. We will help you resolve everything in just two days, conveniently and online.

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I have given notice from my job

When you quit your job, we can help you defend yourself against your employer’s actions and make sure you get everything you’re entitled to from them. This includes, for example, any wages or severance pay you are owed. We provide assistance throughout the country and at a predetermined price.

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Author of the article

JUDr. Ondřej Preuss, Ph.D.

Ondřej is the attorney who came up with the idea of providing legal services online. He's been earning his living through legal services for more than 10 years. He especially likes to help clients who may have given up hope in solving their legal issues at work, for example with real estate transfers or copyright licenses.

Education
  • Law, Ph.D, Pf UK in Prague
  • Law, L’université Nancy-II, Nancy
  • Law, Master’s degree (Mgr.), Pf UK in Prague
  • International Territorial Studies (Bc.), FSV UK in Prague

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