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A true story of mobbing
Unfair charges to frame a temp written by Francesco Orbitello
The aim of this book/exposé, which is based on a true story, is to sensitise institutions to the fact that in Italy there is still no law to protect workers against mobbing.
What kind of protection does the law provide to workers who are victims of mobbing?
"The protection that the law provides to prevent and punish cases of mobbing spans different legal frameworks and refers to a variety of sources:
Apart from the General rules for the protection of individuals (arts. 2 and 3), there are several other provisions of the Constitution that are meant to safeguard the individual in the world of work:
- Art. 32, which recognises the protection of health as a fundamental human right;
- Art. 35, which provides for the protection of labour in all its forms;
- Art. 41, prohibiting the conduct of private economic activity if exercised in contrast to social utility or if detrimental to an individual’s safety, liberty and human dignity.
b) CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE
- Art. 2043, which establishes the obligation to pay compensation for anyone who causes harm to others. It is important to highlight, in particular, the importance given to this norm by the judgment of the Court of Cassation No. 411 of January 24, 1990, which establishes that "the right to health is an independent and main right of the individual and as such, compensation for its violation cannot be confined to those consequences that affect only the individual’s ability to produce income and to the financial loss of income understood as decreased profits due to the disbursement of money (medical care and/or treatments, or purchase of pharmaceuticals), the so-called emerging damages , or as the possibility of a loss of profit due to the conduct of the offender (lost profit), but should be extended to the biological damage understood as an injury inflicted on the individual’s mental integrity in and of itself";
- Art. 2087, which establishes that "the entrepreneur is required to adopt measures in the pursuit of business which, according to the particular nature of the work, experience and state of the art, are necessary to protect the physical integrity and moral personality of employees". It is not, therefore, a negating law, but rather imposes an obligation on the entrepreneur to take tangible action in order to prevent possible cases of mobbing. As a result, case-law has recognised the legitimacy of the dismissal of workers who have displayed serious misconduct against other employees (horizontal mobbing). Similarly, it has been established that "denying or preventing the performance of an employee’s job-tasks is inconsistent with the fundamental right of free expression of the personality of the worker" (Cassation Court judgment no. 5.10.2001);
- Art. 700 of the Code of Civil Procedure, which guarantees protection as a precautionary measure in case of behaviour that is prejudicial or discriminatory and as such puts the worker in serious jeopardy.
c) CRIMINAL CODE
- Art. 590, which punishes anyone who causes bodily injury to another person (including offences that have a criminal intent). The provision, however, establishes that Courts have to assess in practice whether the impairment of the worker’s mental and physical health is due to negligent or malicious conduct by the employer.
d) OTHER PROVISIONS OF LAW
- Law no. 300 of May 20, 1970 (Workers’ Statute), and in particular art. 7, which establishes a specific disciplinary procedure against acts of abuse by an employer, art. 13, which protects workers against behaviours aimed at their professional disqualification, and art. 15, punishing all discriminatory acts against the worker;
- Legislative Decree no. 626/94,