Academic journal article Contemporary Readings in Law and Social Justice

Specific Features of the Dismissal of Personal Assistants of Disabled Persons. Case Study

Academic journal article Contemporary Readings in Law and Social Justice

Specific Features of the Dismissal of Personal Assistants of Disabled Persons. Case Study

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT.

In this article we shall present a concrete case, taken from legal practice. Precisely, there are cases to which we have had a direct contribution and which have been finalized with the reintegration in the work field of people dismissed.

Keywords: dismissal, disabled person, assistant

We have chosen to present these cases because there have been intersected several legal questions, interpretations of legal texts and specific situations which might constitute judicial practice for law professionals. These legal issues could be brought before authorities specialized in settling disputes involving discrimination,1 but also before European courts2 since they involve fundamental rights and, last but not least, the right to life.3

More specifically, once the economic crisis appeared worldwide, Romania too was affected by economic issues. As a result of these problems, the Romanian Government has decided the dismissal of employees from the budgetary system hoping that some expenses considered as being excessive would be reduced.

One of the cities of Constanta decided the dismissal of all persons employed as personal assistants of people with disabilities (about 110 people). The reason behind that dismissal was that the institution would have received from NAFA, a notice according to which it was recommended to the mayor to reduce those expenses that had been considered as excessive.

The Mayor asserted that the sector spending the most of money was the one represented by personal assistants, so they decided to dismiss those people.

The first step that the local administration took regarding the dismissal of personal assistants was to draw up some documents, entitled "notification" that they sent in May 2010, to employees that were to be laid off starting with July 1st, 2010. Through those notifications, the employees were announced that their working contracts concluded indefinitely would cease, as a consequence of a notification received by the employer from NAFA, Constanta.

Those notifications were communicated in May 2010, and the orders for termination of the individual employment contract were communicated to several employees, after the date of June 15, 2010, given the fact that those contracts had ceased to exist approximately two weeks before, respectively The employees whom we have represented in court (and which were personal assistants of their own children) first challenged their notices in court, before the panels specialized in labor disputes, under Constanta Tribunal, in order to avoid the contestation of tardiness exception.4 After the notification and orders for termination of the individual employment contracts, several tilings were mentioned in regard to actions brought before the court, such as the request of the cancellation order deciding the dismissal.5

The employees brought the action before the court on their own behalf, not as multiple plaintiffs, in contradiction with the Mayor of the city whose employees were the plaintiffs, and the heads of claim in the petition were the following:

- the cancellation of the dismissal document no dated , improperly called NOTIFICATION that was sent to me on , and which is announcing me the termination of my individual employment agreement concluded for an indefinite period, starting from July 1st, 2010. The individual employment contract covered the supervision, assistance and care of the adult X, person from the category of serious disabled persons requiring personal assistant;

- to prevent an imminent damage by endangering the individual recovery plan of the person appointed in the degree of severe disability, fact with irreversible effects, I ask you to order immediately, without summoning the parties, to suspend the execution of the dismissal until the settlement of this action;

- to keep the appointment of the applicant in the position of personal assistant of the person with severe disability X;

- to order the defendant-employer, in accordance with provisions of the individual labor contract, to pay further on the wages and contributions determined by the quality of employee, of the claimant;

- to compel the defendant to pay all trial expenses, according to Article 274, Civil Procedure Code, as they will be proven by the claimant. …

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