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September 17, 2009

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Dismissal for rant at boss ruled not valid

A COURT in Barcelona says insulting your boss with one particularly foul obscenity is not grounds for dismissal, insisting the slight is common in arguments in Spain and not that big a deal.

The zinger in question translates as "son of a b----," and was used by a worker against his boss during a January 2008 money dispute in Gerona City. The worker, who also called his boss "crazy," was promptly fired. The man lost a first court challenge, but won on appeal with the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia in February.

The ruling - first reported this week by Spanish human resources Website Carta de Personal - said the worker should either be reinstated in his job or receive 6,483 euros (US$9,472) in compensation.

"Without a doubt, both expressions are insulting," Judge Sara Maria Pose Vidal said in the ruling. But she noted that when the man called his boss crazy, he had been on his way out of the office and the boss did not hear it.

She also wrote that the "son of a b----" remark should be viewed in linguistic context."


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