So, what happened next? Keep reading below....
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The Labour Court outlined the requirements for a successful interdict in the context of the PDA
The Court looked at the requirements of the PDA. They are:
The disclosure must be more than a subjective opinion or an accusation. It must disclose factual information for it to be protected;
It must clearly show a breach of legal obligations. It must also be the employer who is committing possible criminal activities; and
Disagreeing with the employer's policy isn't a disclosure of protected information.
After looking at these requirements, the court said she didn't meet these. It said:
Her real complaint was about the managing of the QA department not performing.
And the QA technicians who report to him, was her perception of 'extreme chaos'.
This wasn't 'criminal or other irregular conduct' inline with the PDA.
It also didn't fall into the definition of a 'disclosure' of an 'impropriety'.
The court said the following:
For it to give her an interdict, she had to show there was a danger of irreparable harm.
It said that any harm she could suffer isn't irreparable. This is because she has the chance to present her case at the disciplinary hearing. And she could give evidence at the hearing.
After the hearing, she could challenge the findings at the CCMA.
It also said that there was another solution for cases like this. For example, where the company didn't dismiss the employee yet. It specifies 'any other occupational detriment' – such as a disciplinary hearing – is an unfair labour practice. But in this case, they can resolve it through conciliation. If not, then she can go to the Labour Court.
The court's conclusion… The company hadn't dismissed her and she had to prove she's entitled to protection under the PDA. The Court said she should go to disciplinary hearing. And then give the evidence to show she wasn't guilty of misconduct.
What can you learn from this case?
Not every disclosure is protected disclosure under the PDA. The Act protects specific situations only. Outside of those, employees need to be careful of the allegations they make.
So… You're safe from employees using the Act to stop you taking action against them.