The damage arising from unlawful placement in the redundancy scheme (CIG) and damages for demotion, suffered by the same worker during the period of suspension of the redundancy fund, represent two distinct damaging events because they can be traced back to the breach of separate norms and as such separately indemnifiable.
Court of Cassation, Employment Section, Order No. 20466 of 28 September 2020
The case originates from the lawsuit filed by an employee, claiming on the one hand the illegitimacy of her placement in CIG and, on the other hand, her demotion during the periods of rotation when she was at work, given her total inactivity during those periods.
As a result, the applicant requested that the company be ordered to pay the sums corresponding to the difference between her ordinary salary and what she received during the periods of suspension by way of redundancy payments, as well as an order that the company pay compensation for the damage caused by her demotion.
The employee won her case in first instance, but the judgement was then partially overturned on appeal.
The Appeal Judge rejected the claim that had been upheld in first instance, relating to separate damages for demotion, which, according to the court, had to be considered absorbed by the payment of full salary for the periods when she was in CIG.
The worker appealed to the Supreme Court claiming breach of, and misapplication of, Article 13 of Law 300/1970 and Article 2103 of the Civil Code.
In particular, according to the reasons given in the case in first instance, the ascertained total lack of duties during the periods of rotation constitutes breach of two rules: the first concerning the non-observance of the collective bargaining rules relating to the criteria of rotation in CIG and the second concerning the violation of Article 2103 Civil Code and Article 13 L. 300/70.
The Court of Cassation accepted these grounds and overturned the judgment of the Appeal Court.
For the Supreme Court, compensation for damages for demotion and compensation for unlawful placement in CIG can not overlap, as they relate to two separate and distinct violations.
According to the Judges, following the reasoning of the Court of Appeal would mean rolling into one, compensation for professional damages and compensation for financial support resulting from the illegal recourse to CIG and in doing so would end up «overlapping heads of damages that remain distinct because they relate to separate rules (those relating to the observance of the criteria of rotation in CIG, and those placed to protect the professionalism and skills of the worker, embodied in art.2103 the Civil Code».
The Supreme Court goes on to say that «a principle, such as that expressed by the District Court, according to which the establishment of a right arising from the violation of one rule can also absorb that resulting from the violation of another, is not recommended, it being understood that in general, even a single act can be the source of a plurality of harmful events, to be compensated separately».