Rights of Workers Subjected to Mobbing in Turkish Labour Law

March 28, 2024by Bünyamin Esen0

Mobbing is when employees are being harrassed by the employer, by a manager, by another person and/or people in the workplace with disturbing, immoral and systematic words and behaviors.

Mobbing is the psychological pressure exerted by the powerful on those at the bottom, especially in groups with a hierarchical structure and institutions with weak control.

Mobbing is generally implemented systematically by employers in the form of forcing the worker to resign in order to get rid of the compensation and reinstatement provisions of the Labor Laws that protect workers, and in this process, the worker who is exposed to mobbing often suffers serious psychological damage.

In recent years, mobbing has become a phenomenon that attracts attention day by day in Turkey, with precedent lawsuits filed by mobbing victims and awareness studies carried out on the subject.

Mobbing has mostly entered the legal literature, especially in Europe and America, and since the 1990s, sanctions against mobbing practices have begun to be accepted.

In the Article 2, paragraph g of the Law on the Human Rights and Equality Institution of Turkey, the concept defined as mobbing in the workplace is encountered as “Intimidation in the workplace: Actions carried out deliberately with the aim of alienating, excluding or annoying a person from his/her job, based on the grounds of discrimination listed in this Law.” In addition, the term ‘Workplace Mobbing’ is also encountered among the types of discrimination listed in the Article 4 of the Law.

It is defined in Article 2, paragraph j, of the Law as ‘Harassment: All kinds of intimidating, humiliating, harrassing or embarrassing behavior that aims to violate human dignity or has such a result, based on one of the grounds listed in this Law, including psychological and sexual types.’
Mobbing is a concept that is not yet well known in Turkey, and the legal legislation does not contain sufficient regulations on this subject.

For the first time, the Article 417 of the Code of Obligations No. 6098 regulated the obligation to protect the personality of the worker and employers were obliged to take the necessary measures to prevent workers from being subjected to psychological and sexual harassment and to prevent further harm to those who have been subjected to such harassment.

Mobbing manifests itself as systematic harassment rather than a momentary behavior.

The worker exposed to mobbing has the following rights according to the Turkish law:

  • The right to terminate the employment contract based on just cause.
  • The right to claim compensation for discrimination under certain conditions.
  • The right to request compensation according to the Code of Obligations and the Turkish Civil Code.

In addition, according to some opinions, it is stated that the employee has the right to refrain from fulfilling his duty.

In addition, the employee who is subjected to mobbing can also sue the superior in the workplace who is making the mobbing and claim morel compensation.

Bünyamin Esen

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