Question 163. May an Employer take LD action against an Employee’ violation of the general principles set out in IRL?


Pursuant to the Labour Code, an Employer is banned from imposing LD on any Employee who shows a violating act that is not specified in ILR, LC or the Labour Code[1]. Accordingly, in order to impose LD on any Employee, the Employer must have the ILR clearly providing for the Employee’ violations that will be subject to LD as well as the corresponding forms of disciplinary action instead of mentioning them in the LC, which aims to comply with the principle of publicity, transparency and equality among Employees. The regulations also aim to ensure Employees’ right to know in advance about their violations and the sanctions to which they may be subjected in case of their ILR violations. Thereby, the Employee can better understand and comply with the ILR.

Thus, where the Employer only sets out the general principle of requiring Employees to comply with the ILR like “Employees are absolutely banned from drinking alcohol or beer at the workplace” without specifying any type of violation to impose discipline thereon as well as any form of LD action that the Employer will apply to each specific violating act, the Employer cannot discipline an Employee for any violation. If the Employer imposes any form of LD on acts that are not specified in ILR or LC as prescribed by law, the Employer can face multiple legal risks. The Employee will then have the advantage in lodging his or her complaint or initiating a lawsuit at the competent court against LD by the Employer. Therefore, where the ILR falls into any of the said cases, the Employer should promptly revise the ILR and re-register it, clearly defining the types of violations and forms of LD for every single act as the basis for them to deal with LD later.

[1] Article 127.3 of the Labour Code