“The dismissal of D. Budreviciene was like a warning or a threat directed at other employees: they will face the same fate should they dare to speak up. The victory [in the case] is very important in the context of employer-employee relationship. The employer intended to control employees and reprimand them for talking to the press”
– attorney-at-law Kęstutis Čilinskas, legal representative of Dalia Budrevičienė
Proceedings initiated: 2006
Proceedings closed: 2009
Case in brief: after disclosing that the salaries in the company are paid “unofficially”, i.e. avoiding the taxes, the whistle-blower was fired and accused of defamation
Outcome of the case: the whistle-blower’s dismissal was found to be unlawful, her employer was ordered to pay damages
Facts of the case:
In February 2006, a residents meeting with politicians in a small town of Krekenava turned into something bigger when one of the residents, Ms Dalia Budreviciene, stood up and publicly asked when the salaries in one of the biggest local companies – “Krekenavos agrofirma” – will finally be paid officially. This caused quite a stir when subsequent investigations of the State Tax Inspectorate and the Financial Crimes Investigation Service led to findings that some of the taxes in these companies have indeed been evaded.
Ms Budreviciene was subsequently dismissed from her job in the company and faced the defamation charges.
Case No 1. In July 2006 Panevezys District Court ruled that Dalia Budreviciene had been dismissed illegally. The Court also held that “Krekenavos agrofirma” has to pay redundancy of 323 EUR and the average wage for the forced absenteeism of the period starting with the day of dismissal until the day when the ruling came into force, for one absenteeism month paying 161 EUR.
Case No 2. In September Kedainiai District Court found Dalia Budreviciene not guilty in the case of defamation, for which she was accused by her former employer, the head of “Krekenavos agrofirma” – Linas Grikšas.
Case No 3. At the end of 2007 Human Rights Monitoring Instititute submitted a complaint on behalf of Dalia Budreviciene requesting her former employer a pay 145 000 EUR in non-pecuniary damages. On 18 November 2008 Panevezys Court awarded Dalia Budrevičienė with 25 000 EUR in moral damages. The judgment was upheld on appeal.