Employee speaks badly of the employer, when does he risk dismissal?

Any employee can let slip some complaints about the company they work for, the organization or the salary.
Nothing serious, at least as long as the statements are true and appropriate tones and vocabulary are used.
However, care should be taken to moderate statements that may discredit the company or the figure of the employer.
Such damage can even lead to dismissal, as confirmed by the Court of Cassation on several occasions.
Before speaking badly about the employer, we should be more careful and not use the excuse of the right to criticize, which is absolutely legitimate, to justify defamation.
Can you speak badly of your employer? The employee can obviously have an outburst with loved ones and talk about the events that affected him and give his opinion, whatever it is, on the work activity.
What should not be done is to spread this criticism, especially when it does not correspond to an objective narrative of the facts but contains insults, offenses and undocumented accusations.
Anyone who believes that the employer does not respect the rights of employees must request the right protection in the appropriate forum, by filing a civil lawsuit, contacting union representatives or choosing the – softer – path of mediation.
Otherwise you risk being on the wrong side (regardless of any reasons) and you face serious consequences, also because it's not just your job that's at stake.
The employee, like any other human being, has the right to criticize recognized by articles 21 and 39 of the Constitution and can legitimately exercise it even to talk about his work, the company or the employer.
This right manifests itself with the freedom to express one's opinion on facts, agreeing or disagreeing.
read also Dismissal for blasphemy at work, is it legitimate? The right to criticize must however have an informative purpose, a collective interest, and not be a mere means of denigrating the employer.
Clearly, it is easier to fall within the limits when a positive image of the person is conveyed, while by combining them with dishonorable qualities the difference becomes more subtle.
The law does not say that you cannot speak badly of the employer.
It is possible to do this if your statements are based on actual and proven data, without using denigrating tones, respecting the decorum, reputation and image (even moral) of the employer and the business.
Limits which, moreover, also apply to the employer towards the employee.
read also Can you report someone who speaks badly about you? When you risk dismissal From the consolidated orientation of the Court of Cassation we can affirm that speaking badly of the employer in a public way (or in any case by addressing several people) by attributing reprehensible qualities to him, using offensive tones and referring to dishonorable and unproven facts, acknowledges upon dismissal.
The employer can legitimately apply disciplinary sanctions for this behavior, including dismissal for just cause.
These actions, in fact, not only break the relationship of trust but can also constitute the crime of defamation.
We cite, in particular, the ordinance of 22 December 2023 and sentence no.
27939/2021 of the Court of Cassation.
Both deemed the dismissal for just cause of the employee who spoke badly of the employer and company management on social profiles open to the public to be legitimate.
This would not have happened if the communication had been limited and private or if the publications had been based on proven facts and appropriate tones.
However, it must be underlined that the applicability of the disciplinary sanction has nothing to do with the criminal case.
Even if there is no defamation (or insult), the dismissal is legitimate because the employee does not care about the company image and thus the basis of the employment relationship is broken.
The sanction is applicable when there is an attack on moral, professional and personal qualities, not when an objective (or proven) content is discussed, albeit in heated tones.
read also Slander, defamation and insult, meaning and differences

Author: Hermes A.I.

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