Dismissal for justified objective reason: the employer does not need to prove the poor financial performance of the company

Case ref: Cassazione Civile, sez. lav., 17 febbraio 2020, n. 3908

With judgement no. 3908 of 17 February 2020, the Court of Cassation reiterates its recent orientation according to which, for the purposes of legitimacy of individual dismissal for justified objective reasons, the poor economic performance of the company does not constitute a factual assumption that the employer must prove, and the judge must ascertain, in accordance with the provisions of Article 41 of the Constitution.
The Supreme Court thus reaffirms that the employer must prove, and the judge ascertain, the existence of an actual reorganization – determined by  a more efficient management, or increase in profitability, of the company – and that such reorganization has led to the abolition of the position held by the dismissed employee.
Therefore, according to the Court of Cassation, the judicial review is limited exclusively to ascertaining the legitimacy requirements and cannot be extended to examining the merits of the technical, organisational and production assessments that are the responsibility of the company.
On the basis of these principles, the Supreme Court repealed the decision of the Bologna Court of Appeal which, after having ascertained the existence of the abolition of the dismissed employee’s position, “extended its assessment to verifying the business needs given by the employer to explain the organisational reasons” – i.e. the “need to face up to poor market conditions specifically affecting the company” – which were considered not existent and thus ruled on the illegitimacy of the dismissal.