Legal Remedies for Employees Subjected to Mobbing

April 1, 2024by Bünyamin Esen0

There are legal remedies defined in the Turkish Legislation for employees who are subjected to mobbing (psychological harrassment). The legal remedies changes whether the employment relationship is going on or ended.


Legal Remedies While the Business Relationship Continues

For Preventing the Attack and Stopping the Ongoing Attack:

The individual who is subjected to mobbing can file a lawsuit regarding the protection of personal rights regulated in the Turkish Civil Code. In the Article 24 of the Turkish Civil Code, it is regulated that a person whose personal rights are unlawfully attacked can ask the judge for protection against those who attack. In the following article, it is regulated that the plaintiff may ask the judge to prevent the danger of attack, to end the ongoing attack, and to determine the unlawfulness of the attack if it has ended.

Litigation for Material and Non-pecuniary Damages:

If the conditions are met, the person may request both material and non-pecuniary compensation.

Litigation For Determination:

In accordance with the Article 106 of the Code of Civil Procedure No. 6100, during the period the employment relationship continues, the employee may request the court to determine whether the practices in the workplace constitute mobbing. This legal determination will help to apply for further litigation regarding the determined mobbing.

Within the framework of the Occupational Health and Safety Law No. 6331, since mobbing (psychological harassment) poses a serious and imminent danger to the health and safety of the employee, if it is a behavior coming directly from the employer, the employee can apply to the occupational health and safety board, or if it comes from another employee of the employer, the employee can apply to the employer to determine the psychological harassment. The employee may request that the necessary measures be taken for this purpose. If the board or the employer decides in favour of the employee’s request, the employee may refrain from working until precautions are taken.


Legal Remedies After the Termination of the Employment Contract

In case of termination by the employer:

An employee who has worked under an employment contract for an indefinite period may request notice pay, bad faith compensation (an employee who cannot benefit from job security provisions may request it if the conditions are met), and severance pay if he/she meets the conditions.

In accordance with the last paragraph of the Article 438 of the Code of Obligations, unfair termination compensation may also be on the agenda. If the employee works with a fixed-term employment contract, he/she may request severance pay and the remaining wage if the conditions are met.

He/she may also request compensation for wrongful termination.

The employee who is covered by job security provisions of the Turkish Labour Code No. 4857, can file a lawsuit for reinstatement, as well as a lawsuit for non-pecuniary damages.


In case of termination by the employee:

While the employee can exercise his/her right to termination without direct pressure to resign, termination may also occur if mobbing is aimed at resignation.

Based on the word ‘similar’ used in the phrase ‘Situations that do not comply with the rules of morality and good faith and similar’ in the title of the Article 24/II of the Turkish Labour Code No. 4857, it is accepted that the employee can terminate the employment contract based on just cause.

Depending on the way mobbing is implemented, in accordance with the paragraphs 24/II c, d, e and f of the Turkish Labour Code No. 4857, the employee may terminate the employment contract for justified reasons and request severance pay if the conditions are met, or may also request the balance wage if he/she works on a fixed-term contract.

In the case that the employee is forced to resign by using mobbing as a pressure element:

The compensation rights of the party who terminates the employment contract within the forfeiture period stipulated in the Article 26/II for the reasons stated in the Article 25/II of the Turkish Labour Code No. 4857 are reserved. In this case, the employee will have the right to demand compensation according to general provisions. A similar regulation is included in the Article 437 of the Code of Obligations No. 6098.

If the employee was forced to resign as a result of mobbing and her/his real will was not to resign, it should be accepted that she/he was deprived of notice compensation. At the same time, if the employee who is invited to work after the reinstatement decision terminates the employment contract due to pressure to get rid of the consequences of not reinstating the job, he/she will also be able to claim compensation for not being reinstated to the job.

Bünyamin Esen

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