The Social Court number 10 of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria has declared inadmissible the dismissal of an administrator of Lopesan Hotel Management S.L. who had been in the position for thirteen years to be supplied by a computer program or management bot.
This has been reported by the Superior Court of Justice of the Canary Islands (TSJC) in a press release explaining that the judicial authority has rejected the «objective causes» alleged by the company to terminate the contract to women, while if not readmitted to the worker within a period of five days from the notification of the ruling, the compensation would increase to 28,305 euros –33 days of salary per year worked with a maximum of 24 monthly payments.
Similarly, the Chamber has established that the company must compensate the employee with 863 euros plus interest for omitting the notice of dismissal that should have been carried out in an unjustified contract termination.
WORKING IN THE CENTRAL OFFICES OF LOPESAN SINCE 2006
The ruling includes that the worker began her work in June 2006 at the Lopesan headquarters as an accounting officer, until, in December 2018, the firm acquired the license of Jidoka, an RPA – an acronym for Robotic Process Automation or Robotic Process Automation – for collections management.
In addition, the sentence reports that this machine «performs tasks from 17.15 to 6.00» on business days and «on holidays works 24 hours.»
The judicial resolution indicates that on March 29, 2019, the employee received «a letter of objective dismissal for technical reasons», a letter also received by other colleagues in her department.
The judge does not accept that the case conforms to the «technical, organizational and productive causes» alleged by the company to justify the objective dismissal, and emphasizes that the labor reform approved in 2012 «does not exempt the employer from the duty to prove that real and indeed, it is going through difficulties of a certain entity for whose overcoming the termination of employment contracts is an adequate and reasonable measure «.
THE COMPANY CHEERED A FACTURE OF THE SECTOR
In this case, the company claimed to justify the objective dismissal future reports on the discouraging panorama of the sector in the islands «that nothing proved about their poor economic health at the time of ordering the dismissal».
The judge recalls that to justify dismissal on objective grounds, it is necessary to resort to an «exceptional» cause and states that the automation of tasks previously developed by humans cannot be considered something unique, when all studies suggest that «process automation as the one operated in the present case will imply a destruction of jobs of at least 35% of the active population «in the coming years.
For its part, the ruling concludes that «automation as a technical cause of the objective dismissal implies an opposition between the social rights achieved by workers who are envisioned as an obstacle or obstacle to achieve a more optimal business performance, compared to the possibility that a production instrument can carry out the same work without limit of hours, without salary or social contributions «.
«Automation by means of bots or robots – he continues – with the only excuse of reducing costs to increase competitiveness, is the same as reducing the Right to Work to increase the Freedom of Business. Thus, it cannot therefore be had as a result of dismissal in these terms, in view of the interpretation to be given of the objective dismissal for technical reasons. »
Finally, the magistrate states that «it is not possible» that, in cases like this, in which automation comes to replace workers in their tasks «until displacing the labor market, due to the mere competitiveness of the company, it may be eligible for a privileged form of dismissal in which workers are paid less than ordinary compensation. «