Pregnant woman who did not wear a mask against Covid-19 has just cause reversed

Pregnant woman who did not wear a mask against Covid-19 has just cause reversed
Pregnant woman who did not wear a mask against Covid-19 has just cause reversed
Regional Labor Court of the 3rd Region (Belo Horizonte/MG)| Photo: Superior Labor Court website

The Labor Court reversed the termination of the contract for just cause of a pregnant employee, fired after being warned and suspended for not using the protective mask against Covid-19. According to the First Panel of the Regional Labor Court of Minas Gerais (TRT-MG), the penalty was considered excessive, as other employees were also failing to comply with the equipment requirement and were not punished.

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The company justified that the former employee was undisciplined and that, therefore, she was dismissed from work. Thus, the company filed an appeal against the judgment of the 2nd Labor Court of Pouso Alegre. However, the rapporteur of the appeal, Judge Delane Marcolino Ferreira, highlighted that the professional had a provisional guarantee of employment, provided for in article 10, II, b, of the Transitional Constitutional Provisions Act. In addition, she could only be removed for serious misconduct.

The rapporteur also said that before applying just cause, maximum penalty, the company should seek to apply all pedagogical measures to reprimand the worker. Since, the professional suffered a warning, two suspensions – one for not using the mask and another for unjustified absence – and soon after, she was dismissed from work.

The judge also considered that other workers did not use the protective mask or used the equipment incorrectly, and were not punished. The suspension for unjustified absence was also annulled, as it had a medical certificate. Because of this, the judge recognized the decision of just cause as irreproachable and declared it null and void. As it was impossible to reintegrate the professional, the judge determined the substitutive indemnity equivalent to the salaries on the date of dismissal up to five months after the birth.

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