Clerk fired for taking R$1.50 out of cash reverts just cause in court

A cashier managed to revert to the Labor Court its dismissal for cause from an emporium in Caldas Novas, about 170 km from Goiânia. She had been dismissed from the company for having withdrawn R$1.50 from the cashier to buy a snack.

The first group of the Regional Labor Court of Goiás (TRT) confirmed the sentence of the first degree judge, who considered that the company applied a disproportionate penalty to the amount subtracted by the employee.

The case took place in April last year and the judgment was published at the end of August 2021. The employee, who did not have her name revealed, said that, during the pandemic, the emporium where she worked began to authorize the purchase of snacks in the establishment itself.

She said that she bought the snack from a colleague’s cashier, but that R$1.50 was missing, which she took from the cashier with the intention of replacing it at the end of the day. According to the woman, before returning the money, she was dismissed for just cause, on charges of theft.

A worker won the case in the first instance, but the company appealed, claiming that the court should analyze the theft case itself and not the amount involved.

The emporium argued that the seriousness of the act was configured by the worker’s own dishonesty. He added that the decision could create an idea that stealing is not something serious enough, but rather its value and recurrence.

In the first degree sentence, judge Juliano Braga stated that, considering the context of the situation, the penalty of dismissal imposed by the company is neither reasonable nor proportionate.

“Although the minimum material damage to the defendant is not a determining factor in defining the inadequacy of just cause, it should not be disregarded as a significantly relevant circumstantial element, especially when compared to the economic repercussion of the act performed by the employee (BRL 1.50 ) with that arising from the motivated dismissal (loss of the right to several severance payments)”, considered the magistrate.

He also noted that there is no news of the application of any disciplinary measures against the employee during the entire period of the contract.

The company’s claim was also not accepted by the TRT, which upheld the conviction. With this, the employee guaranteed access to the severance pay of a dismissal without just cause, as indemnified prior notice and 40% of the FGTS.

The rapporteur of the case in the second degree, judge Welington Luis Peixoto, affirmed in his vote that the decision of the first degree judge was correct.

“The situation could have been resolved by several less drastic means and, thus, the employee had the opportunity to modify her behavior without forgetting the application of a penalty more adequate to the degree of injuriousness of the act performed”, he wrote in the sentence.

In the action, the employee had also asked for compensation for moral damages, but the request was refused. For the judge, it would not be “reasonable nor fair” to consider the company’s position to be unlawful, to the point of condemning it to pay compensation.

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