The 51-year-old woman had a well-paid job as a policy officer at the Nijmegen care institution De Waalboog. At the end of 2020, the relationship with her employer was disrupted after she expressed herself on social media as a denier of the corona pandemic and a fierce opponent of the measures to curb the virus.
Her employer repeatedly asked her to stop. When the employee refused, the care institution eventually went to court to be able to fire her. In August, the subdistrict court in Arnhem gave the green light for this.
At the time, the subdistrict court ruled that her statements partly fell under the freedom of expression. But by labeling vaccines as ‘genocide’ and calling its perpetrators ‘war criminals’, she had crossed a line.
However, De Waalboog had to pay her a regular severance payment of 4800 euros. The woman was not satisfied with this and appealed. In addition, she demanded her job back, or an additional severance payment of more than 83,000 euros.
A ruling that became public today shows that the former care worker has also lost that case.
The court in Arnhem ruled on Monday that there was no impermissible restriction of expression. According to the court, some of the woman’s expressions were ’emotional, judgmental and insulting’ and did not contribute to the social debate.
The Court of Appeal thus concluded that the subdistrict court judge was right to dissolve the employment contract. Because the care institution did not act culpably, the woman is not entitled to additional severance pay.