The 2nd Panel of the Superior Labor Court (TST) upheld an appeal filed by an employee of the company Siemens do Brasil Ltda., who had his employment contract suspended since he was assigned temporarily to work on the same company in Italy. The Panel considered that there was no termination of the employment contract, since the two companies are part of the same economic group and thus appear as a single employer regarding the contracts signed.

The employee reported in the labor suit that he was transferred to the company in Italy in September 2004. The clause relating to the duration of the assignment would be closed on August 31st, 2007, and could be shortened with a notice period of three months - a condition which, according to the claimant, was not respected.

According to the worker, he was told that he would be repatriated on the following month in June 2006. After that, he was kept in the staff of Siemens Brasil for over two months and, after performing the notice period, he was dismissed on September 30, 2006. Among other claims, he wanted the Labor Court to recognize his employment guarantee until the original deadline for the assignment.

The Regional Labor Court of the 9th Region (TRT-PR) upheld the sentence which deemed suspended the employment contract during the period in which the employee has performed his activities abroad. According to the TRT-PR, despite being configured the economic group between the two companies, the two contracts are different and therefore the employee is not entitled to the employment guarantee until the end of the deadline of the assignment. For this reason, the dismissal would have been lawful.

The employee then appealed to the (TST) alleging the existence of only one employment contract since he performed his duties in both headquarters - the Brazilian and the Italian - through a unique employment bond signed by means of the same employment contract. For him, there was a temporary transference to the headquarters abroad and not the suspension of the employment contract.

The reporting judge Minister Caputo Bastos explained that the economic group, foreseen in article 2, paragraph 2 of the Consolidated Labor Laws (CLT) provides to the employee the possibility of charging labor credits of any member of the group. It also allows that any company of the group uses the worker's manpower without the need for formalization of several employment contracts.

Thus, the minister granted the employee's appeal and declared the existence of only one employment contract.

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