Employer's liability for employee's misconduct

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We are currently having the following incident, please help me research and advise on a solution:

- On June 20, 2024, an employee of my company used too much force to the elevator control panel of the building where we rent an office, leading to it being cracked and damaged.

- The Building Management Board contacted the Company's representative and the Company had a meeting between the Management Board - Company Representative - Employee. During the working session, the Management Board released a camera extract of the process that the employee damaged the equipment and the employee signed to confirm the working record.

- After consulting with Schindler elevator supplier, the Management Board proposed a solution and sent a quote to replace the damaged elevator equipment with the amount of total cost of 76,039,810 VND.

We would like to ask for a lawyer advice on how to work with the Management Board. Will the company have to pay 100% of the product value? Currently, the Management Board has just sent a quote for the equipment and requested the Company to resolve this problem.

Employer's liability for employee's misconduct
Employer's liability for employee's misconduct


Based on the information provided by the Company, SB Law assesses that there is not a solid legal basis for the Building Management Board to request the Company to compensate for damages, specifically as follows:

First, according to the Appendix of the Lease Contract, "elevator system/elevator control panel" is not included in the list of equipment to be handed over. Therefore, it can be understood that the Company is not handed over or received the "elevator control panel". Meanwhile, the Leased Contract also does not have specific provisions on the Lessee having to compensate for the acts of the Lessee's employees that destroy property other than the leased property.

Second, pursuant to Article 597 of the Civil Code, the Company must compensate for damage caused by its employees while the employee performing the tasks assigned by the Company. However, there is no clear basis to prove that when performing the act of "using force" to the elevator control panel, the employee was performing a task assigned by the Company.

Third, although there is a video recording the process of the employee "using force" on the control panel, it cannot be confirmed that the employee's "using force" behavior is the direct and sole cause of the failure of the equipment (since the control panel may have been previously damaged). To clarify this issue, SB Law recommends that the Company reach an agreement with the Lessor to conduct a technical appraisal for the cause of the equiment failure. However, the company also needs to anticipate the risk that the inspection may bring disadvantages to the company if the inspection results show that the equipment is damaged due to the direct force of the employee.

In summary, SB Law recommends that the Company require the Lessor to provide legal grounds and specific evidence when requesting the Company to compensate for damages caused by the employee 's behavior.

>> Dispute resolution: Litigation


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