Expats Sue Offensive UAE Employers for Thousands of Dirhams in Psychological Damages

Published July 11th, 2019 - 06:46 GMT
One employee received Dh200,000 for psychological damages from a civil court last year.
One employee received Dh200,000 for psychological damages from a civil court last year. (Shutterstock)
Highlights
Many of the cases involved instances where employers used words such as 'silly' or 'stupid'.
An increasing number of Dubai employees are taking their bosses to court for abusive language and name-calling, lawyers have said. In fact, one employee received Dh200,000 for psychological damages from a civil court last year.

Many of the cases involved instances where employers used words such as 'silly' or 'stupid', which is a criminal offence in the country. Employees can also file a civil case against their employer for causing psychological damages, however, they must present sufficient proof to the court.

"It's very common now. There are many cases of employees filing cases against their bosses for verbal abuse, even for words like 'silly'," Haytham Alieh, partner and head of the local litigation team at DWF Middle East LLP, told Khaleej Times.
"Last year, we had a client whose boss had verbally harassed her, so she filed a criminal case against him. That employer was banned from travelling and was referred to the criminal court. He was fined Dh50,000 for using words like 'silly' and 'stupid'. She had immediately sent an e-mail to human resources when it happened, they replied and enquired. And this was presented as proof in the court.

"In another case, a client presented proof of psychological damage by her employer after he had verbally abused her. She was given Dh200,000 by the court for civil damages. She had gone to a psychiatrist and presented it as proof."

Ashish Mehta, founder and managing partner of Ashish Mehta and Associates, had written for KT previously that Article 374 of the Federal Law No. 3 of 1987, in issuance of Penal Code of the UAE, states: "Punishment by detention for a period not exceeding six months or by a fine not exceeding Dh5,000 shall apply if slander or abuse is transmitted by telephone or face to face with the victim and in the presence of a third party."

A partner at STA Law Firm, Zisha Rizvi, said that according to Article 121 of the UAE Labour Law, an employee may leave the service without notice if the employer - or the employer's legal representative - has committed an act of assault against him or her.

"Abuse, in any form, is intolerable and this applies to each and all individuals, including employers and employees. In the event that any party (whether employer or employee) is aggrieved by such an act, a complaint can be filed at the nearest police station," Rizvi said.

"A complaint may also be filed with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation and individuals should obtain proper legal advice from their lawyers in Dubai or the UAE on the matter."

UAE LAWS THAT PROTECT YOU AGAINST ABUSE

* Article 121 of the UAE Labour Law:

An employee may leave the service without notice if the employer - or the employer's legal representative - has committed an act of assault against him or her.

* Article 374 of the Federal Law No. 3 of 1987:

Punishment by detention for a period not exceeding six months or by a fine not exceeding Dh5,000 shall apply if slander or abuse is transmitted by telephone or face to face with the victim and in the presence of a third party.

* A civil case can be filed against an employer for causing psychological damages

 

This article has been amended from its original source.


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