Legitimate dismissal of an employee who had spoken ill of his employer on social networks

By order no. 35922 of 22/12/2023, the Court of Cassation declared lawful the dismissal of an employee who had spoken badly of his employer on social networks.

In fact, the Court has clarified that the worker is guaranteed the right to criticize, even harshly, his employer, but this does not allow the image of the latter to be damaged on a moral level, with reference to facts that are not objectively certain and proven.

This is because the principle of freedom of expression of thought, guaranteed by Articles 21 and 39 of the Constitution, meets the limits of the protection of the rights and freedoms of others and must be coordinated with other constitutionally guaranteed interests, first and foremost the need to protect the human person (Article 2 of the Constitution).

These limits are exceeded in the event of openly dishonourable qualities being attributed to the employer or its managers and unproven disparaging references by the worker, whose conduct may legitimately be sanctioned by disciplinary action.

This article was first published by our Italian member firm Lexellent. Do you have questions on this issue or any other employment-related question? Reach out to our representatives Giulietta Bergamaschi, Ugo Ettore di Stefano or Renato d’Andrea to discuss how the Italian firm can help and provide you with solutions.