Dispute about unjustified dismissal ended in a commercial win-win situation

FIRING – A salesman at a dealer of sporting goods was fired on the grounds that he had ignored internal rules and misused information because he had sales and customer information stored on his computer.

 

The accusation of misuse was in connection with the fact that the salesman had applied for a job with another company that was a partial competitor to his employer.  The salesman said there was nothing unusual about him having the information on his computer, and that it was information he knew anyway from sales meetings.

The salesman’s union made a claim for unjustified dismissal of DK200,000. The union’s lawyer suggested that the conflict be solved by mediation and offered to pay the mediator’s fee.  The employer agreed.

Quickly after the dismissal a mediation session was held with the salesman and the employer in combination with a mediator appointed by the Association of Danish Mediator Attorneys.  Both parties’ attorneys and a representative from the union took part in the meeting.

During the meeting it became clear that both the employee and the employer were sorry to have ended their co-operation under such unhappy circumstances. The background of the dismissal was thoroughly discussed, and circumstances were disclosed that the parties had not previously considered. The parties agreed to work to maintain contact and respect for each other.

After a 4 hour meeting the parties reached an agreement that could not have been achieved with a lawsuit.

A final agreement was signed in which the employer agreed to pay the salary that would have been paid during the notice period if the employee had left the job of his own accord, in addition to compensation in the form of various sporting goods.

An agreement was also reached that within 14 days the salesman was to arrange (and pay for!) a lunch between his previous employer and his new employer.

There were several areas in which the two companies were not exclusively competitors, but had opportunities for co-operation and know-how the other could make use of.

Clearly, this type of result would not have been possible in a lawsuit.  In addition to solving a personal conflict, mediation also set the stage for a commercial win-win situation.

Der blev også i aftalen indføjet, at sælgeren indenfor 14 dage skulle arrangere (og betale!) en frokost med deltagelse af hans gamle arbejdsgiver og nye arbejdsgiver.

Der var en række områder, hvor der var samarbejdsmuligheder, da firmaerne ikke udelukkende var konkurrenter, men også havde produkter og knowhow, som de gensidigt kunne drage nytte af.

Det er åbenbart, at man ved en retssag ikke ville kunne have opnået en sådant resultat, der udover at løse en personlig konflikt, også gav mulighed for en kommerciel win-win situation.

Mediationsinstituttet / Vesterbrogade 32 / DK-1620 København V / Tel. +45 3939 0066 / Disclaimer