Austrian Supreme Court: Republic liable for unjustified dismissal of airline employee

Plaintiff, an Egypt born Austrian citizen, was employed at an airline’s catering division. His field of work included the preparation of snacks for the airline’s passengers which he did for more than two years without any complaint when suddenly the Austrian Federal Minsitry for Transport, Innovation and Technology called the airport operating company and requested them to deprive plaintiff of his airport identity card: due to information by the national counter-terrorist department he would have to be regarded a servere security risk. As he was not allowed to enter the catering area any more without the identity card, the arline released him.He sued the Austrian Republic for damages and succeeded in all three instances as the Ministry failed to produce any evidence of his alledged rsikiness. They only referred to an obligation of secrecy in this regard and didn’t grant plaintiff access to their records. Austrian Supreme Court (OGH) upheld the lower instances’ decision that the Republic was under obligation of proof which they failed to fulfill. The Republic was therefore held liable for all damages resulting from the unjustified dismissal.The Supreme Court decision (1 Ob 225/07f of 30.09.2008) is available for download in German here>>.The case is an example the sometimes absurd excrescences of the “war against terror” after 9/11.

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