Murder attempt grounds for dismissal: court

A man from Luleå in northern Sweden who was dismissed from his job after being convicted to five years in prison for attempted murder has lost a lawsuit filed against his previous employer.

It was in 2009 that the man had exploded in a fit of rage and stabbed his wife in the back during a domestic squabble. He had a previous history of bottling up grievances only to erupt in sudden bursts of anger.

When he didn’t turn up for work, his employer eventually discovered his absence was due to the fact that he was in police custody for the attempted killing.

A few months after his arrest he was dismissed by the small town dairy firm, which argued that the concerns of co-workers, the threat to business’s reputation — not to mention the man’s impending five year absence and need for subsequent retraining made it impossible for them to keep him on.

But the man’s union argued the employer had no right to fire the man, filing a suit with the Swedish labour court (Arbetsdomstolen) to declare the dismissal invalid and force his employers to pay him damages of 120,000 kronor ($19,000).

In its ruling, however, the labour court found that the man’s extended absence in combination with the severity of the crime was reason enough for dismissal.

Despite the incident, the man and his wife are planning to live together after he has served the end of his sentence.

The man’s union has also agreed to cover the nearly 200,000 kronor in legal fees incurred in pursuing the case.

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