Justice validates dismissal by WhatsApp; indemnity only applies in specific cases

For the Brazilian Justice, the dismissal of an employee by WhatsApp is not a reasonable issue of compensation, with the exception being cases where there is disrespect and humiliation in the content of the messages.

  • TST maintains the conviction of the boss who made abusive dismissal by WhatsApp
  • STJ reaffirms that WhatsApp Web captures cannot be used as evidence
  • Is WhatsApp valid as evidence in court?

Since 2020, with the huge adoption of the home office due to the covid pandemic-19, lawsuits for layoffs on WhatsApp have increased exponentially. A survey carried out by the Data Lawyer Insights juridical platform revealed that more than 351 thousand cases were registered with the keywords dismissal, WhatsApp, application and moral damages

Still based on the survey, while between November 2020 and

, have been accumulated 19.115 actions on the topic, between November 2019 and 2018, the volume was 23.988 lawsuits related to the matter — an increase of about 115%.

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In general, although the practice seems impersonal, most legal opinions have accepted disconnections via the app as something common . The judges who handle cases of dismissal by messenger have claimed that the application is a communication tool like any other, which ended up becoming popular mainly with the pandemic, with no problems with the dismissal carried out in it.

Opinion of professionals

According to the lawyer Jorge Matsumoto, member of the labor area of ​​Bichara Advogados, in a statement for the Extra website, unfair dismissal via Whatsapp is possible, but he recommends that employers first try to find a different, more personal way to communicate the end of the employee’s contract. The professor of Labor Law at Ibmec RJ, Patrícia Garcia, said, in a statement also to Extra, that the Labor Court has understood that it is possible to characterize moral damage when the employer uses the means to act with disrespect and offenses in relation to to the employee.

For the lawyer Ruslan Stutchi, partner at Stuchi Advogados, and for Lariane Del Vecchio, partner at BDB ABdvogados, when asked by G1 about the validity of a dismissal communicated by Whatsapp, responded that in view of the popularization of the app thanks to the pandemic, the method is valid, making any dismissal performed by video call, audio or text by the app is valid, so that employers be careful not to offend or disrespect the dignity of the employee, which, then yes, generates possible processes.

For Ruslan and Lariane, it is also necessary that employers are aware that the recipient has seen the message, because if there is no proof of that the employee knows about the dismissal, the dismissal is not valid. Even though WhatsApp can be used for layoffs, the ideal is still to use other communication tools that have a read confirmation, such as a registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt.

It should be remembered that in June This year, a boss had his conviction upheld by the Sixth Panel of the Superior Labor Court (TST) after the dismissed employee brought to justice the WhatsApp message he sent warning of the end of the relationship: “Good morning. You are fired. Return my house keys and card. You will be contacted shortly to sign documents”. The Court understands that this dismissal was carried out without consideration, cordiality and politeness, configuring a case where the dismissal by the messenger is suitable for compensation.

Source: Extra, G1

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