The proof of the demotion

2 April 2024

Proof of demotion can also be provided by allegation of presumptions

In its Order no. 6275 of March 8th, 2024, the Supreme Court reiterated that although damage from demotion is not in re ipsa, presumptions can also provide proof of the same.

The case stems from an appeal by an employee who complained that he had suffered damages due to a demotion implemented by his employer. Specifically, the employee sought a determination of professional and monetary loss and related damages.

The courts of first and second instance dismissed the appeal, contrary to what was later done by the Supreme Court, which intervened and granted the worker's claim for compensation. The Court notes, in fact, that the damage from demotion is not in re ipsa. However, proof of such damage can be given pursuant to Article 2729 of the Civil Code, which states that presumptions not established by law are left to the judge's assessment, who must admit only serious, precise, and concordant presumptions.

The mentioned rule expresses, on the one hand, the principle of the judge's free evaluation of presumptive reasoning and, on the other hand, provides two limitations on the admissibility of presumptions. The Supreme Court requires the damaged party to prove the damage caused by the event and its consequences, not admitting damageautomatically linked to the demotion.

Finally, the Court explains that the quality and quantity of the work performed, the type and nature of the professionalism involved, the duration of the demotion, and the different and new job position assumed after the alleged demotion can be evaluated as presumptive elements.

2024 - Morri Rossetti