Employee fired after being caught coughing at work

An employee from the chemical company DuPont in Dordrecht will be dismissed after he appeared at his work in mid-March with a heavy cough and refused to go home (yuck!). To make matters worse, he tested positive for coronavirus two days later 😱

Despite the employee working there for more than 20 years, a subdistrict court granted his dismissal — but not for the reason that you might think. 

While the company fired the employee because he came to work with a cough and refused to go home, the dismissal was upheld by the subdistrict court because the trust between the employee and employer had been irreparably damaged — echt?!

Alright, here’s what happened

On March 15, 2021, the employee arrived at work with cold symptoms. Several of his colleagues heard him coughing heavily and told him to go home, reports RTL Nieuws.

However, the man claimed that his symptoms were not that bad and were actually caused by his bronchitis (umm sure thing pal!) and refused to go home. A day later, the employee called into work sick and on March 17 he tested positive for coronavirus (surprise, surprise). 🤧

The ruling

The subdistrict court determined that the employee’s actions alone were not grounds for dismissal as he was following his employer’s protocol by staying home in the following days and getting tested for coronavirus. 

However, the district judge did find the employee guilty of violating the trust of his employer by refusing to go home after his colleagues asked him to do so multiple times. Turns out Dutch directness wasn’t enough for him to go home! 

Case dismissed

The district judge determined that the employee’s actions warranted a dismissal from DuPont, with a severance of €23,000 — a far cry from the original €200,000 the employee originally tried to get. 💰

What do you think of the ruling? Let us know in the comments below!

Feature Image: kleberpicui/Depositphotos

Nicole Ogden 🇹🇭 🇺🇸
Hailing from the bustling city of Bangkok, Nicole is a Thai/American international student who came to the Netherlands to study linguistics. When she's not reading books or listening to true crime podcasts, she's practising her singing and guitar skills! She is also attempting to pick up the Dutch language (moeilijk).


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