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Old 15.07.2015, 22:30
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Can they fire me?

Hello everybody,
I am new to the forum and I hope I am not breaking any rule here. I looked at similar threads, but it seems my case is unusual.

I am working in a large company in Geneva, and at the end of last year I took a paid leave for 2 months to attend a course. I got my leave approved by my direct boss. However, she forgot to formally notify the central HR.

Two months ago I received a communication by the central HR that they were informed of this unauthorized leave from the workplace. I sent the documentation they required to fix it, but two weeks ago the HR manager told me the thing cannot be solved only with what they received because this is a serious incident, and he scheduled a meeting for September with me and a member of the legal office.

I would probably win this case in a court (I can prove I asked for authorization to my boss), but I like my job, my boss made a horrible mistake but probably in good faith, and I would like if possible to avoid to go to court. Can they still fire me after all this time for just cause, or at most I will get a warning? What can the consequences be? Can they "force" me to resign?

Thanks!
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Old 15.07.2015, 22:35
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Re: Can they fire me?

Go to HR and explain what happened in person.
Does your boss back you up here? If not you have a serious problem.

Letting someone go in Switzerland is simple. So my advice again would be to talk asap to your HR contact.

Good luck!

Addition: can you also prove that your boss gave you the OK? Thatīs important
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Old 15.07.2015, 22:36
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Re: Can they fire me?

Well, I guess you can show that you had permission and did everything you were supposed to (unless you also had some responsibility to talk to HR). But as you may know, they can fire you here for no reason, so if they want to get rid of you, there's not much you can do.

I guess the best you've got is "It's not my fault if my boss didn't notify you."
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Old 15.07.2015, 22:37
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Re: Can they fire me?

They can't force anyone to resign ever. You do not have to sign anything they give you either, ever.

However a company can fire an employee. Whether they have to give a reason or not is another matter. Companies abuse employees' rights all the time.

If you are fired, you of course can contest this.

I don't know why you have to have a meeting with your legal office. Have you yourself personally broken the law? Have you not observed your contractual obligations in any way?

You are not obliged even to attend the meeting, this is simply intimidation and mobbing.

Mobbing is a criminal offence.
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Old 15.07.2015, 22:41
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Re: Can they fire me?

But it seems that there is more than meets the eye here. Sounds like either you and/or your boss is in for some trouble.
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Old 15.07.2015, 22:49
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Re: Can they fire me?

Thank you guys.

I just like this job and in some sense I am trying to "cover" my boss. Of course, in case they fire me, I would go to court. If a only get a warning... I can live with it.

I can prove I asked her for permission because I was concerned (also, I don't speak French, and I am not an expert of labor law). I just wonder whether since they figured this out more than 2 weeks ago and the meeting is in September, they can still say this is a just cause... or whether it would be too late to argue that. I read somewhere they should send the letter at most 3-4 days after the fact.

Yep, the legal office is involved because they don't know that I went through my boss, so it looks like I just disappeared for months from the workplace.
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Old 15.07.2015, 22:56
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Re: Can they fire me?

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They can't force anyone to resign ever. You do not have to sign anything they give you either, ever.

However a company can fire an employee. Whether they have to give a reason or not is another matter. Companies abuse employees' rights all the time.

If you are fired, you of course can contest this.

I don't know why you have to have a meeting with your legal office. Have you yourself personally broken the law? Have you not observed your contractual obligations in any way?

You are not obliged even to attend the meeting, this is simply intimidation and mobbing.

Mobbing is a criminal offence.
It's not mobbing or intimidation. It's a company trying to find out why one of its employees disappeared for 2 months, didn't do any work and got paid for it. So yeah, he didn't observe his contractual obligations of working between ?am and ?pm 5 days a week at whatever he was employed to do as far as they're concerned and it's a very serious offence. Not turning up for the meeting will almost certainly get the OP fired.

This is a big screw up on the part of the boss and really they should be checking with her about all this. If she's denying she gave permission then it could get nasty. You may be able to prove you asked, but do you have her agreement in writing to do the course?
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Old 15.07.2015, 22:57
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Re: Can they fire me?

Again, talk to HR directly and do not wait till September.

From my experience, if they get Legal on board at a meeting like this, it is serious. And why do you say they do not know it went "through your boss"?

Something seems fishy here. If you can prove you did what was necessary and required, go and show it now.
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Old 15.07.2015, 22:59
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Re: Can they fire me?

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Yep, the legal office is involved because they don't know that I went through my boss, so it looks like I just disappeared for months from the workplace.
What? Are you saying you haven't told them that you had permission?

You really need to.
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Old 15.07.2015, 23:02
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Re: Can they fire me?

Do you have it in writing that you got the OK to do the course, be off from work for 2 months and get paid?

Or was it only a verbal OK? The latter is a problem.
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Old 15.07.2015, 23:04
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Re: Can they fire me?

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Hello everybody,
I am new to the forum and I hope I am not breaking any rule here. I looked at similar threads, but it seems my case is unusual.

I am working in a large company in Geneva, and at the end of last year I took a paid leave for 2 months to attend a course. I got my leave approved by my direct boss. However, she forgot to formally notify the central HR.

Two months ago I received a communication by the central HR that they were informed of this unauthorized leave from the workplace. I sent the documentation they required to fix it, but two weeks ago the HR manager told me the thing cannot be solved only with what they received because this is a serious incident, and he scheduled a meeting for September with me and a member of the legal office.

I would probably win this case in a court (I can prove I asked for authorization to my boss), but I like my job, my boss made a horrible mistake but probably in good faith, and I would like if possible to avoid to go to court. Can they still fire me after all this time for just cause, or at most I will get a warning? What can the consequences be? Can they "force" me to resign?

Thanks!
Your presence at the meeting in September is totally unnecessary.

Inform your HR and your Legal office as soon as possible that your leave was cleared with your superior in advance and in writing. Send them a copy of said document.

This is your boss who has made a mistake and the issue has nothing to do with you since you have done nothing wrong. It is your boss who has to deal with any consequences, admit her mistake to her boss/HR/Legal and send them a copy of the authorization she gave you.

Don't be intimidated into attending such a meeting.
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Old 15.07.2015, 23:05
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Re: Can they fire me?

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It's not mobbing or intimidation. It's a company trying to find out why one of its employees disappeared for 2 months, didn't do any work and got paid for it. So yeah, he didn't observe his contractual obligations of working between ?am and ?pm 5 days a week at whatever he was employed to do as far as they're concerned and it's a very serious offence. Not turning up for the meeting will almost certainly get the OP fired.

This is a big screw up on the part of the boss and really they should be checking with her about all this. If she's denying she gave permission then it could get nasty. You may be able to prove you asked, but do you have her agreement in writing to do the course?
Yes, I understand the company's perspective too - it looks like I just disappeared (well, still they should explain how my colleagues did non notice in 2 months). I guess it will become mobbing if at the meeting they will try some intimidation. I have an email with the ok for the boss, and where she says that she will notify HR. But again, I really hope to avoid to go through this - and after I sent them documentation two weeks ago now they know I was away for this course. So I wonder whether it will too late to fire me in September mentioning this as a just cause. Next time, if there will be a next time, I will be way more careful.
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Old 15.07.2015, 23:11
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Re: Can they fire me?

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I have an email with the ok for the boss, and where she says that she will notify HR. But again, I really hope to avoid to go through this
Why can you just not tell them your boss gave you permission?? Why risk disciplinary action or losing your job, when you can just tell them the truth? And if you tell them later on, if things don't go your way, it's not going to go down well.
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Old 15.07.2015, 23:15
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Re: Can they fire me?

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Why can you just not tell them your boss gave you permission?? Why risk disciplinary action or losing your job, when you can just tell them the truth? And if you tell them later on, if things don't go your way, it's not going to go down well.
You are right, but this would probably mean I will need to find another job soon anyway - it would be a nightmare to work here then. My boss, with whom I am/was in very good terms, seems to be reassuring there will be no serious consequences - but of course she might not know / be trying to save herself. Probably I should talk to a lawyer to see whether it's worth to take the risk.
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Old 15.07.2015, 23:16
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Re: Can they fire me?

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Yes, I understand the company's perspective too - it looks like I just disappeared (well, still they should explain how my colleagues did non notice in 2 months). I guess it will become mobbing if at the meeting they will try some intimidation.
If you feel this way you might consider moving jobs at some time. Your colleagues did not notice that you were gone for 2 months??

What I read here is a normal but serious hearing to find out why an employee "disappeared" for 2 months. No mobbing, no intimidation. Any company would do that.

As said several times, go to HR, show that you have approval (in writing) and cut this short.

Addition: you do not need a just cause to let someone go, as long as you adhere to the notice period. But somehow it seems to me that you think the situation is disrupted anyway?
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Old 15.07.2015, 23:36
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Re: Can they fire me?

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Thank you guys.

I just like this job and in some sense I am trying to "cover" my boss. Of course, in case they fire me, I would go to court. If a only get a warning... I can live with it.

I can prove I asked her for permission because I was concerned (also, I don't speak French, and I am not an expert of labor law). I just wonder whether since they figured this out more than 2 weeks ago and the meeting is in September, they can still say this is a just cause... or whether it would be too late to argue that. I read somewhere they should send the letter at most 3-4 days after the fact.

Yep, the legal office is involved because they don't know that I went through my boss, so it looks like I just disappeared for months from the workplace.
I guess if you just disappeared for 2 months, then this is gross misconduct and perhaps you can be fired for that without notice (maybe someone more knowledgeable can say). Since you didn't provide any evidence that you had permission, then I don't see why that fact would count in your favour in or out of court.

Lastly, 'just cause' is a perhaps irrelevant since as mentioned, you can be fired without cause in Switzerland and since you are behaving in a way that might provoke them to do that, it may end badly for you.
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Old 15.07.2015, 23:45
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Re: Can they fire me?

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I guess if you just disappeared for 2 months, then this is gross misconduct and perhaps you can be fired for that without notice (maybe someone more knowledgeable can say). Since you didn't provide any evidence that you had permission, then I don't see why that fact would count in your favour in or out of court.
i don't think you can fire someone without notice 9 months after the event happened.
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Old 15.07.2015, 23:46
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Re: Can they fire me?

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If you feel this way you might consider moving jobs at some time. Your colleagues did not notice that you were gone for 2 months??

What I read here is a normal but serious hearing to find out why an employee "disappeared" for 2 months. No mobbing, no intimidation. Any company would do that.

As said several times, go to HR, show that you have approval (in writing) and cut this short.

Addition: you do not need a just cause to let someone go, as long as you adhere to the notice period. But somehow it seems to me that you think the situation is disrupted anyway?
Well, my performance has been extremely good so far (bonuses, evaluations, etc), so I hope that if this firing for just cause will not happen - then they would only send we a written warning. That's why I wonder whether in September will be legally too late to fire me for a just cause.
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Old 15.07.2015, 23:48
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Re: Can they fire me?

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i don't think you can fire someone without notice 9 months after the event happened.
Maybe not if they link the termination to this, but you can be let go without any reason if the company adheres to the notice period.
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Old 15.07.2015, 23:49
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Re: Can they fire me?

Also... what is the point of this meeting? They might have sent me an A/R dismissal letter if they decided to fire me.

Thank you again guys, probably I will talk to an (English speaking) lawyer
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