Article 25/II of the Employment Law numbered 4857 (“Employment Law”) states that employers will have the right to immediately terminate employment agreements with a valid reason and without any compensation if employees act “against moral and good faith principles”. Subparagraph “e” of the same provision states that if;
“The employee abuses the employer’s trust, steals, reveals the employer’s occupational secrets, or acts in any way against truth and loyalty”
the employer will again have the right to terminate the employment agreement with a valid reason.
In the case at hand, the employment agreement of an employee who photocopied documents that contained confidential business information was terminated with a valid reason in accordance with article 25/II-e of the Employment Law stated above, and the employee initiated a lawsuit claiming his severance and notice payments. The local court has accepted the employee’s claims.
However, the employer has appealed against the local court’s decision, and the 9th Civil Chamber of the Court of Appeal has reversed the local court’s judgment with its decision dated 19 December 2019 with file numbers 2016/26856 E. and 2019/22796 K.
The Court of Appeal has stated that;
- Article 25 of the Employment Law lists the circumstances which are against moral and good faith principles,
- Abusing the employer’s trust, stealing, revealing the employer’s occupational secrets, or acting against truth and loyalty will grant the employer the right to terminate the employment agreement with a valid reason,
- The circumstances stated in the law are not limited and that other actions which have not been specified may grant the right to termination with a valid reason,
- The actions of the employee who did not have the authorization or permission to photocopy such documents is against the truth and loyalty,
- Therefore, the employee’s severance and notice payment claims must be rejected.
The full text of the 9th Civil Chamber of the Court of Appeal’s decision dated 19 December 2019 with file numbers 2016/26856 E. and 2019/22796 K. is available at this link (only available in Turkish).