The Supreme Court of the Republic of North Macedonia determined Psychological harassment in the workplace (mobbing)

The Macedonian Young Lawyers Association (MYLA) informs the public that on 12.02.2020, deciding on a case supported by the association, the Supreme Court of the Republic of North Macedonia determined psychological harassment in the workplace (mobbing).

The Supreme Court of the RNM decided upon submitted revision against judgment of the Appellate Court Skopje, who altered the first instance judgment of the Basic Civil Court Skopje in such a way that it rejected the plaintiff’s request as unfounded.

The plaintiff is employed in a state institution and after receiving a judgment after a previous labour dispute, with which he is returned to the workplace, he started to suffer a psychological harassment in the workplace in such a way that he was placed in a complete isolation, he did not receive any work assignments, he was not sent to any work trip or professional improvement i.e. training, he did not receive any documents for the performance of his work obligations, nor he was invited to meetings and collegiums and had no basic working conditions. The requests for annual leave filed by the plaintiff were ignored, due to which he couldn’t use the annual leave, nor he was paid compensation for the unused part of the annual leave. These facts were later determined by the State Labor Inspector. Additionally, the plaintiff did not have access to the electronic system and the Internet at work.

The Supreme Court determined that the application of the burden of proof of non-existence of mobbing which is on the side of the defendants is not applied correctly. The Supreme Court determined that the rule according to which it is on the defendants to prove that their behavior is not intended to psychologically harass certain employee in mobbing cases, was not applied correctly. In the current case, the Court determined that the first and second defendant had not submitted evidence that they treated other employees in the same way.

The court determined that according to the Law on Protection against Harassment at the Workplace, the protection of employment rights under the Law on Labour Relations, is of no importance for initiating procedure for determining psychological harassment in the workplace. The consequences for the employee that occur because of the harassing behavior is important for determining harassment in the workplace, which does not always have to end with leaving the workplace or terminating the labour relations.

The plaintiff was represented by Petro Janura, attorney at law in Skopje, a member MYLA’s team of lawyers.

Contact person: Aleksandra Cvetanovska, project manager,

tel. 075/427735, e-mail: acvetanovska@myla.org.mk