Justice declares inadmissible the dismissal of a TITSA driver who did not wear a mask when he had COVID

The social chamber of the Superior Court of Justice of the Canary Islands (TSJC) considers unfair dismissal the decision of the company TITSA (the public bus company of Tenerife) to terminate the contract of a driver who, among other infractions, was discovered not using the mask when I had COVID.

The Superior Court of Justice of the Canary Islands indicates that none of the reported events endangered users, given that only he and his partner were on the bus, and they took place when his shift had already ended.

The man had been a driver for 19 years and, at the beginning of 2022, the company gave him a letter informing him that it was terminating his services due to the commission of a series of offenses that it considered “very serious.”

Specifically, in January of that year the operator informed his superiors that he was feeling ill, so he had decided to go to the doctor and retire from service when he was at the Los Cristianos stop.

Then it was decided to open the cameras and it was possible to see that all the passengers got off except for one woman, who was his romantic partner, who sat next to the driver.

Next, it is observed that both take off their masks, talk, the vehicle starts moving, the driver takes off his mask, smokes a cigar and looks at a cell phone that the passenger shows him, so he takes his eyes off the road. .

All of these attitudes, according to the company, go against the health recommendations imposed during the coronavirus pandemic.

Minutes later the man stopped the bus at a point where it is not allowed, the two got out of the vehicle without closing it, he opened the trunk, put his belongings and got back in, and then parked in the Parque de La Reina garage. and retire from service.

On that same day, the worker informed TITSA that he had tested positive for COVID, which he had already known six days before, which is why a disciplinary file was previously opened for him for not having used the mask correctly on several occasions.

The company had also called his attention for not respecting the schedule for passing through the station, and for not parking in the corresponding dock, even though it was free; faults, all of which were classified as “very serious”, which is why his contract was finally terminated.

In the first instance, it was already considered that the dismissal was unfair and TITSA was obliged to pay the driver more than 65,600 euros as compensation, or reinstate him, in which case they would have to pay him 94 euros per day until he returned to work.

The company chose to go to the TSJC, in whose appeal it is indicated that through emails it had informed drivers about the correct use of masks while driving the vehicles and the prohibition of smoking.

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