A decision to fire an employee who was caught working while enjoying sick leave would seem appropriate to most.
But not in Costa Rica and especially not if the employee is a lawyer. Such a case reached the Sala Segunda of the Corte Suprema de Justicia, which is the final level for labor cases.
The woman in question was not named, but a summary of the case said that she worked for a municipal government, which also was not named in a summary provided by the Poder Judicial.
The court said that leave was designed so the employee would recuperate and is not compatible for other work for hire.
That is not what lower courts said. The case was decided in favor of the employee in the Juzgado de Trabajo, which ordered her reinstatement.
On appeal, the Tribunal de Trabajo upheld the initial decision.
The woman lawyer argued that she worked for the municipality as a lawyer but that she worked while on leave as a notary, which was described as being different from her day job.