Uruguay: Despido Abusivo: ¿Cómo Influye En La Indemnización Por Despido?

Last Updated: 4 August 2016
Article by Jesus Ferreira Pozzi

En el presente comentario daremos una visión sobre un aspecto que ha ido creciendo en materia de relaciones de trabajo. Nos proponemos desarrollar el concepto del despido abusivo, comparándolo con el despido común y situaciones similares que pueden llegar a generar confusión, analizando su incidencia respecto a la indemnización por despido.

I. ¿EL EMPLEADOR TIENE DERECHO A DESPEDIR A SUS TRABAJADORES?

Creemos que previamente al análisis del tema debemos responder a esta pregunta, la cual admite una contestación positiva. Es pacíficamente admitido en nuestro derecho que empleador tiene derecho a despedir a sus trabajadores, sin expresión de causa, abonándose la correspondiente indemnización por despido. Pero no solo el empleador puede dar por finalizado unilateralmente el contrato de trabajo, sino también el propio trabajador mediante la renuncia.

Siendo más precisos, hay autores que afirman que "existe un régimen jurídico de estabilidad impropia en materia laboral: existe el derecho a despedir, o dicho de otro modo, no existe una prohibición de despedir, sino la admisión del despido sin expresión de causa y con obligación de pagar la indemnización tarifada" (Pérez del Castillo)

Pero lógicamente, como todo derecho (a excepción del derecho a la vida), tiene límites, y justamente el estudio de estos límites motiva el presente desarrollo.

II. CONCEPTO DEL DESPIDO ABUSIVO

A los efectos de este estudio, podemos entender al despido abusivo como aquel que se produce cuando existe un abuso en el ejercicio del derecho, que tiene todo empleador, de despedir a un trabajador.

Concretamente, para que sea abusivo, la Jurisprudencia ha exigido que "debe existir una situación de violación grosera, un uso realmente desmedido, inmotivado u obedeciendo a móviles extra-laborales".

Aunque debe estudiarse caso a caso (en la práctica así sucede en los Juzgados y Tribunales de nuestro país), el despido abusivo puede manifestarse en los motivos del despido –configurándose causas ajenas a la relación laboral entre las partes, motivos religiosos o políticos, persecución sindical o racial, etc. (enumeración no taxativa)-, como también en la finalidad –desproporción que genere un daño gratuito- o en la forma –la cual puede ser denigrante o lesiva para la dignidad y honor del empleado-. Justamente el daño es uno de los elementos que diferencia al despido abusivo del común, dado que el despido siempre generará un daño al trabajador, el cual justifica el pago de la indemnización tarifada. Pero ese daño deberá distinguirse en lícito o ilícito, dado que (a título de ejemplo) no será igualmente considerado ni mucho menos soportado un despido por reestructura empresarial que uno por persecución política, sindical.

III. PRUEBA EN EL DESPIDO ABUSIVO

¿Quién tiene la carga de la prueba en los reclamos por despido abusivo? A los efectos de contestar esta pregunta podemos citar una sentencia del Tribunal de Apelaciones del Trabajo de 2º turno del año 2005, en donde se afirmó que "quien pretende el cobro de una suma superior a la legalmente tarifada debe probar ese daño mayor que daría lugar a una reparación distinta, ese hecho antijurídico, ese dolo, malicia o ánimo de daño". Por consiguiente, será el propio trabajador quien deberá probar en los tribunales el hecho antijurídico, dolo, malicia o ánimo de daño, que fundamentaron su despido.

La prueba deberá ser contundente, inequívoca, dado que si no logra acreditarlo, no procederá la correspondiente indemnización.

Sin perjuicio de eso, la doctrina especializada considera la necesidad de valorar la prueba con suma cautela, fundamento su opinión citando constantemente una sentencia de la Suprema Corte de Justicia (LJU Nº 130085): "Es muy probable que una empresa que despide por motivos espurios o ilícitos va a hacer lo posible por ocultar los verdaderos móviles pretendiendo dar al cese un origen ajeno y fundamentalmente vinculado con la actividad del trabajador, aún cuando el despido no tiene por qué ser justo o fundado. De tal manera, que en la generalidad de los casos es poco probable que se obtenga prueba precisa y contundente del despido abusivo, es bastante obvio que las empresas no van a dejar suficientes rastros que acrediten su verdadera intención".

IV. CONSECUENCIAS DEL DESPIDO ABUSIVO: IPD ESPECIAL

Habiendo expuesto sobre el derecho que tiene el empleador de despedir a sus trabajadores y teniendo presente el concepto expuesto sobre esta clase de despido, corresponde abarcar ahora sus consecuencias, las cuales se centran casi en exclusiva en la cuantificación de la indemnización por despido. En estos casos, ha sido la jurisprudencia quien ha marcado las condenas, llegando a fijarse una o dos veces más la IPD por despido común, sin perjuicio de en algún caso haber llegado a tres.

V. CASOS ESPECIALES

Mención aparte merece lo dispuesto por la Ley Nº 18.561 sobre prevención y sanción del acoso sexual, la cual otorga a texto expreso dos posibilidades: la primera, que la víctima de acoso sexual pueda reclamar "al responsable" una indemnización por daño moral mínima de 6 mensualidades; y la segunda, considerarse indirectamente despedido, en cuyo caso el despido se considera abusivo y por lo tanto tendrá derecho a cobrar una indemnización tarifada de seis mensualidades, más la indemnización común. Todo lo cual, como es lógico, dependerá de la prueba que se tenga en el correspondiente reclamo judicial.

Por su parte, podemos diferenciar del instituto en estudio al despido de representantes sindicales, que sin llegar a configurar un despido abusivo y no generar indemnización especial, es una situación que genera confusión. En estos casos, la empresa no solo mantiene el derecho de despedirlos como a cualquier trabajador, sino que por ley tiene la obligación de acreditar una "causa razonable", pues, de lo contrario no convierte el despido en abusivo, sino que impone el reintegro del trabajador más el pago de los salarios

VI. CONCLUSIONES

Tuvimos la intención de plantear este tema, estudiar si efectivamente el empleador goza de un derecho de despedir a sus trabajadores, planteamos someramente el concepto de despido abusivo y lo comparamos con el despido común, analizamos quién tiene la carga de probarlo y su cautela en la valoración, dejando para el final las consecuencias pecuniarias que tiene considerar un despido como abusivo. El propósito del presente trabajo se debe a que creemos conveniente reafirmar dichos conceptos, dado que muchas veces se concurre a los tribunales uruguayos planteando cuestiones como las estudiadas aquí, y a veces los daños no logran ser probados, y aunque probados, a veces no tienen la entidad para ser considerados como tal.

Es un tema muy interesante, de constante evolución en nuestros tribunales, no solo por la abundante casuística, sino también porque muy poco se ha regulado sobre ello, aumentando en consecuencia la labor no solo jurisprudencial sino también doctrinaria. La evolución de las relaciones laborales demandará el crecimiento del trabajo en las áreas del derecho mencionadas.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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