Fri, Apr 07, 2017 - Page 3 News List

High Court sides with EVA in pilot termination case

Staff writer, with CNA

The Taiwan High Court yesterday reversed a lower court’s ruling in favor of EVA Airways in a case involving its sacking of an Italian pilot because he failed to report for duty.

The pilot, Gianalessandro D’Agostini, was employed by EVA in 2010 and took leave to return to Italy from April 1 to April 12, 2014.

While there, he suffered lower back pain and on April 9, his doctor advised him to transfer to a bigger hospital.

He contacted EVA 12 hours before the start of his shift on April 13, and asked for six days of sick leave from April 13 to April 18.

After EVA terminated his employment, he filed a lawsuit seeking compensation of more than NT$1.35 million (US$44,175 at the current exchange rate), equivalent to seven months’ salary.

In the first trial, the court found the company’s sacking to be illegal and ordered it to pay D’Agostini.

EVA appealed, claiming that although he provided a doctor’s diagnosis, the dates and content were incorrect and contradictory, proving that it was produced after the event to provide an excuse for taking more time off.

The Taiwan High Court said that based on the location of the pilot’s residence and the time needed to fly back to Taiwan, he should have embarked on the trip early on April 12.

However, he only contacted the company at 10pm that day, demonstrating that he was not prepared to return.

The court also said that although he asked for six days of sick leave, he failed to produce “a valid and reasonable medical record” to substantiate his alleged illness, and therefore ruled that it was reasonable for the company to fire him.

The case can still be appealed.

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