The manager was fired after having a sexual relationship with his colleague’s wife

An employer who brought his commercial manager to court because he had an affair with the wife of an account manager from the same company during working hours has been ruled in his favour by the Zeeland/West Brabant court. The commercial manager’s employment contract has been terminated and he is not entitled to a transitional payment.

What was going on in this case? He has been the Commercial Director with the company since 1985 and is responsible for sales. Manages a team of employees. A new Account Manager will be joining this company on the 1st of April 2021. This man is married to a lady who works as a receptionist for a client of the company. She told her husband on February 13, 2022, that she wants a divorce from him. The account manager then reports the illness to the business owner after one day.

Sexual messages and pictures
A few days later, the account manager accidentally discovered that his wife had a sexual relationship with the commercial manager. On the shared laptop he finds a large number of letters and color photos from his manager and his wife. The account manager then decides to deliver these messages between his wife and the commercial manager to the business owner.

File a complaint
He also files a complaint against the commercial manager, because he would have threatened not to renew his contract if he did not return to work, and then the account manager files a complaint with the employer about the commercial manager. The account manager indicates that the commercial manager would have threatened not to renew his contract if the account manager (who had reported sick) had not returned to work.

on inactive
The employer proves that the messages were sent with the business phone of the commercial manager. He also appears to have made sexual arrangements with the account manager’s wife on Friday afternoons during business hours between July 2021 and February 2022. The account manager’s complaint leads to conversations between the business owner and the commercial director. It has been suspended and a further investigation is underway. Next, the company and the concerned manager sit down to discuss amicable termination of the employment contract and possibly start working together in a different way. However, nothing comes of this, and then the employer goes to the subdistrict court.

Seriously blame behavior
According to the employer, the commercial director’s behavior results in seriously guilty behavior and disruption of the employment relationship. The commercial director believes that the sexual relationship was a private matter and therefore goes a full counterattack. He asks the District Court to award him a fair compensation of 2.5 million euros. This is because of the way the employer handled the complaint against him.

Termination of the employment contract
However, the district court ruled in favor of the employer and found that the commercial director had acted guilty. Accordingly, the termination of the employment contract is justified, according to him. The court accuses the commercial manager of having a sexual relationship with the wife of a subordinate and exchanging a large number of WhatsApp messages with the woman on his work phone during working hours. This was at the cost of his working time. In addition, the Commercial Director put undue pressure on the Account Manager to return to work.

Behavioral rules
As such, he acted in violation of the employer’s code of conduct. This includes preventing harassment in the work environment, not allowing mistreatment of others through manipulation, and not using company resources for an inappropriate or illegal purpose. The sub-district court also accuses the employee of losing sight that his behavior is unacceptable by insisting that it is a private matter. The employment contract of the commercial director shall be dissolved by the sub-county court without observing the notice period. He is also not entitled to a transitional payment. He refused the fair compensation demanded by the Commercial Director. In addition, he must reimburse his employer the amount of 1,000 euros of gross salary.

Workplace relationships often lead to difficult situations within companies. Clear agreements and a good code of conduct can provide some clarity in this regard.

Learn more about this topic? Please contact RechtNet Advocaten at [email protected] Or call 073-6154311.

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