Labour law is the law branch regulating business relationships. Business contacts are made between persons for several reasons in daily life and some persons perform some works for sake of some other persons. For example, doctor examines his/her patient, lawyer provides legal service to his/her client, tailor stitches for his/her client, employee works for his/her employer, public servant performs his/her duty. However, there are important economical and legal differences between these business relationships we specified. Therefore, for every business relationship to be regulated by labour law is not possible.
To a business relationship be in scope of labour law, a working person should be performing this work dependent on someone else and in return for a fee. For this reason, labour law can be understood as the law of dependent workers or persons working for someone else’s account under the authority of that person. However, main element of labour law is being “working dependently” based on a private law contract which had to be regulated with specific norms. Then, labour law is a legal discipline composed of these norms. In short, labour law is the body of rules applied to relationships conducted between employers and employees who are working dependently to his/her employer due to a work.
Besides, a working place is a place where a lot of employees called personnel, other than just one employee, are hired. For this reason, rights and regulations (to establish a trade union, be a member of a union, be in a union activity, collective bargaining, go on strike, lock out, etc.) legitimatized to a community by legislator and that can be used by community or that is meaningful in the environment of the community, relationships between unions in the framework of these rights and regulations, even their relationships between the state, all in the name of “collective labour relationships” are in the business relationships concept .
Primary cases pending in labour law branch are the following:
To severance pay be demanded firstly,
There should be a business relation (service contract) between the parties,
This business relation should have lasted minimum one year,
Service contract should be terminated.
In the below cases employee has the right to demand severance pay when;
employer has terminated the service contract on an invalid ground,
employee has terminated the service contract on a valid ground,
employee has leaved for military service,
woman employee has leaved since she got married,
employee has retired due to old age or disablement,
employee has died.
Payment in Lieu of Notice
In the case that employer or employee between whom a service contract exists wants to terminate the contract, should notify the opposite party on the matter in a specific time period before the termination. The time period need to pass away before the termination is called “notice period”. If service contract is terminated not complying with notice period, the opposite party gains the right to compensation.
If duration of service contract is less than 6 months, payment in lieu of notice is the wage of 2 weeks, if it is between 6 and 18 months, that is 4 weeks, if it is between 18 and 36 months, that is 6 weeks, if it is more than 36 months, which is 8 weeks. These periods cannot be curtailed but can be extended with contract.
Action for Fixing of Period of Service
Employee whose employment documents have not been submitted to Social Security Agency (SSA) by employer although he/she is working can demand for fixing his/her service period. If employee’s work is proved at case, number of days to pay premium is taken into account by SSA. Action for fixing of period of service has to be taken in 5 years, otherwise employee loses his/her right to take the action since this time period has such a consequence.
Reemployment (Objection to Termination) Lawsuit
Employee whose service contract has been terminated without a ground or with an invalid ground can bring a reemployment lawsuit to be reemployed. This can be brought to employer who employs at least 30 employees at his/her work place. Employee need to work there more at least 6 months. Reemployment lawsuit should be brought in 1 months starting from the termination date; otherwise employee loses his/her right to bring the lawsuit. Employer should prove that the termination of service contract is based on a valid ground at lawsuit. If he/she cannot prove it and if the demand of employee is found justified, employer should reemploy the employee in 1 month. If he/she does not reemploy the employee, employee gains the right to compensation.
Compensation Due to Occupational Accident
Employee having occupational accident or disease can take an action for compensation to recover his/her damages. If employee is totally disabled due to an occupational accident or disease, he/she can also take an action for compensation to recover his/her incapacity to work. Employer is obliged to take necessary measures to prevent any danger that can be caused by work environment and to provide a healthy work environment. Employee demanding compensation claiming he/she suffered has to prove his/her suffer. If employee proves his/her suffer and if employer is not able to prove that he/she has not any liability related to the suffer, employer have to compensate the suffer. In the case that employee has died due to an occupational accident or disease, his/her dependents, ones who are destitute of support can take an action for compensation. Actions to be taken for this reason have to be brought in 10 days.
Action for Unpaid Wages
Employee whose wages has not been paid despite he/she is working can take an action for this wages together with its interest to be paid. Unpaid wages of the employee is determined first of all from payrolls. Employee claiming that he/she is earning more than what is shown in the payroll is obliged to prove his/her claim. Actions to be taken for this reason can be brought in 5 years starting from the realization of the wages.
Unpaid Overtime Pay
Employee whose overtime pay has not been paid despite he/she is worked overtime can take an action for this overtime pays (together with its interest) to be paid. Works over 45 hours per week is deemed as overtime and an extra payment have to be made for this and amount of the payment for overtime has been settled as the half of the hourly payment for regular time. However, total of the overtime in 1 year cannot exceed 270 hours. If employer claims that overtime pay has been paid, he/she have to prove this claim. Actions to be taken for this reason have to be brought also in 5 years starting from the realization of the pay.
Unpaid Annual Leave Pay
Paid annual leave have to be given to employees who worked at least 1 year at a work place. Employee cannot waive his/her paid annual leave right. The paid annual leave right to be given de facto is principle, a fee cannot be given in return for paid annual leave. Payment has to be made for earned but not used paid annual leaves of an employee whose service contract has been terminated for any reason. If employer claims that this fee has been paid, he/she obliged to prove his/her claim. Action to be taken for unpaid annual leave pay can be brought in 5 years starting from the date of termination of service contract.
At least 24 hours non-stop week-end holiday have to be given to employees in a period of 7 days. Full wage of a working day have to be given for the week-end holiday by employer. Employee claiming that he/she is forced to work at week-end has to prove this claim. If he/she is forced to work at week-end, wage of these days has also to be paid. Actions to be taken for this reason have to be brought in 5 years starting from the date of realization of the pay.
Religious and National Holiday Pay
Although employees do not work, wages of the religious and national holidays and the days generally accepted as holiday have to be paid not in return for a work. If they work other than have holiday, extra daily wage has to be paid for every day they work. Employee claiming that he/she worked at holiday and payment for these days has not been made has to prove this claim. Also, employer is obliged to prove that the employee did not worked at holiday or if he/she worked at holiday but payment for these days has been made. Actions to be taken for the unpaid holiday pay have to be brought in 5 years starting from the date of realization of the pay.
Compensation for Bad Faith Damages
In the cases that service contract has been terminated in bad faith, compensation for bad faith damages have to be paid to the employee amounting 3 times of payment in lieu of notice. However to compensation for bad faith damages is adjudged, employee have to prove that service contract has been terminated in bad faith. Actions to be taken for this reason have to be brought in 10 years starting from the date of termination of the service contract.
Compensation for Certificate of Employment
A certificate of employment stating the work performed by an employee and the duration of his/her service is given to the employee when he/she leaves the job. Employee to whom a certificate of employment has not been given or who is suffered from the information in the certificate that is contrary to facts or incomplete can take a compensation action. Employer claiming that a certificate of employment has been given to the employee or the information in the certificate is correct and complete have to prove this claim.
Damages for Mental Anguish
Employee who is claiming he/she suffered mental anguish, felt pain, sadness and sorrow due to business relationship, for example if he/she claims that he/she suffered after an occupational accident or suffered an affront because of the business relationship, and who can prove this claim can bring a libel suit against employer. If the employee can prove the harm, then the employer has to prove that his/her fault does not exist related to the harm the employee suffered. Libel suit can be brought in 1 year starting from the date of occurrence of the harm due to business relationship.
Compensation for Preventing the Exercise of Union Rights
If employer discharges the employee due to his/her union activity, employee gains the right to demand compensation for preventing the exercise of union rights. At the actions taken for this reason, compensation awarded cannot be less than the annual wage of the employee.