Firing Without Severance in Turkey

In recent news, precedence has been set that employees may be fired without severance pay from their jobs in Turkey if they are gossiping at work. In the case that set the precedence for this ruling an employee was fired without severance pay after being employed at their organization for approximately 18 months. The employee in this case was fired due to the employer indirectly observing their gossiping behaviors in the workplace. These behaviors were, in the view of the employer, causing disruptions in the office based on rumors that were being spread about two other employees.

At first, the courts ruled in the favor of the employee, and the employer was then ordered to pay this employee a severance due to their termination. However, the employer then appealed the decision and the appeals court reversed the ruling. The reversal was based on the decision that the employee’s behaviors should be classified in the same category as attacking, or harassing, a co-worker. Now that this precedence has been set, the government of Turkey will need to prepare themselves for the potential upsurge of these types of cases in the future.

In the last few years, Turkey has recognized a new form of harassment in the workplace called “mobbing”. This practice is distinguished by any kinds of bullying behaviors by either an individual or a group in the workplace and can take place both directly or indirectly in person or digitally through the Internet or social media. Due to the fact that these behaviors (such as bullying and gossiping) are taking place in the workplace, they must be handled and regulated through employment legislation.

Based on previous references and regulations, the current laws for this type of employment conflicts are based on discrimination of some kind that takes place in the workplace. However, gossiping itself is both difficult to define and problematic to observe as it is based on subjective interpretation and understanding of spoken or written words. This concept leads to the assumption that any legislation that is based on subjective reasoning is likely to be flawed in its overall design.

Now that this initial ruling has been made, the government of Turkey must prepare for future instances of these types of complaints in the future and the legal consequences that will follow.  New legislation should be proposed as a way to regulate how these kinds of cases are handled in order to alleviate the pressure that is put on the Turkish court system to decide upon the outcomes of these allegations. This topic will undoubtedly be a topic of future discussion in the nation, as this is the first documented appearance of legal ramifications for gossiping in a Turkish workplace where an employee was denied severance pay based on their actions.

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