The Santa Rosa Civil, Commercial, Labor and Mining Court of Appeals revoked a first instance sentence, and justified the dismissal of the driver of a cargo transport for having failed to comply with the sanitary measures established in the first days of the pandemic by Covid-19.
Judge Laura Cagliolo and Judge Guillermo Salas, members of Chamber 3, considered that the employee “carelessly generated an extreme situation of risk to people’s health” and to the activity itself. The plaintiff was the driver of a truck that transported refrigerated meat for export from the Carnes Pampeanas refrigerator –located on National Route 5, on the outskirts of Santa Rosa– to the port in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires.
In the first instance, the worker obtained a favorable ruling for dismissal without just cause, but now the higher court upheld the appeal of the owner of the transport company and in turn rejected the appeal of the employee requesting an increase in the amount of compensation.
The legal discussion revolved around whether, in carrying out their tasks, the worker failed to comply with the health protocols imposed at the start of the pandemic (March 2020) and whether that circumstance justified direct dismissal.
“Seriousness of behavior (of the driver) should not only be analyzed based on the own risk for the transportation service that was provided to the company Carnes Pampeanas, but also because (…) it unnecessarily placed an entire company at extreme risk. essential activity , and one of the few enabled for that dramatic time of the pandemic, which produced more than one hundred thousand deaths in the country”, indicated Cagliolo and Salas.
In this context, they stated that “an extreme situation of risk to the health of the people affected by this activity was unconcernedly generated.”
Even the Chamber itself maintained that in the first instance the unscrupulous conduct of the driver was recognized in a discordant way, by reducing the compensation fine that would have corresponded by law. In the trial it was proven that the driver deliberately got out of the truck not following instructions and that he moved through places where his presence was not recommended or authorized.
“Contradiction suffer by the judge in the appealed sentence the magistrates remarked was evidenced when he categorically judge the worker’s conduct and stated that it was ‘at least, unscrupulous or negligent, because due to the little knowledge that was had in that At the time of the consequences that their actions could bring about, it could well have been considered that, eventually, that conduct could have caused contagion, spread the disease and contaminated the manufacturing plant .
Later, the Court of Appeals pointed out that it was also proven that “the employer urged his dependent to comply with the health protocols, without obtaining answers from the worker that justified the situation in which he was placed, exposing the staff of his own company and the firm for which he carried out the loads”. security