European Integration - Realities and Perspectives. Proceedings 2017
Employer Responsibilities in Moral
Harassment Claims under the Romanian Legislation
Isabela Delia Popa1
Abstract: This paper addresses the grey legal area of moral harassment at work under the Romanian legislation,
with a focus on employer responsibil ities deriving from claims grounded on such discrimination deed. It p uts
under spot light an issue that Romanian employers confront with on a daily basis and which has not been
analysed and conceptualized up to the present. The author has relied on previous research she conducted with
respect to moral harassment at work, with the aim to build legislative propositions to be further considered
during the legislative process. The research outlines the currently applicable legal framework in Romania, as
well as the status quo of the files submitted with the courts of la w addressing moral harassment at work. The
paper synthetises the conclusions of the observations made throughout the last 4 years in p ractice (court
procedure). This paper highlights that, despite the efforts undertaken by the Romanian legislator in order to
ensure protection of employees at work, the concept of “moral harassment at work” does not benefit from any
regulation under the Romanian legislation. As a paradox, there is an outstanding number of court files initiated
by (former) employees against their employers, grounded on mobbing, that usually go through the two -stage
trial procedure (first phase of judgement and appeal), thus determining the courts of law to frame the concept
of moral harassment at work based on related legal concepts (discrimination, harassment, psychological
harassment). The study has implications for researchers, employees and employers, students and academics.
This paper stands out as a first le gal and practice research on the topic of employer r esponsibilities in moral
harassment claims under the Romanian legislation.
Keywords: mobbing; Romania; discrimination
JEL Classification: K31; K49
The Romanian labour legislation has been conceived and projected to confer employees the highest
degree of protection possible. Considering the juridical inequality that exists between the employee and
the employer, in the context where the concept of subordination characterises the employment
relationship, the employee is presumed to be the “weak” joint of the employment chain and, thus, the
contractual party that must be safeguarded and harboured through the Romanian legislator’s efforts. As
a historical background, this approach was initiated in 2003, once with the adoption and enforcement of
the Law no. 53/2003 – the Romanian Labour Code, that – although amended and completed for over 30
times – is currently in force. Up to that moment in time, employees’ protection was illusory and non -
effective, being regulated through a normative act adopted by the communist regime, i.e., Law no.
10/1972 – the Labour Code of the Socialist Republic of Romania.
The extensive care of the Romanian legislator with respect to the protection that employees should
benefit from in connection with their employment has generated and led to a “pendulum effect” in as
1 Collaborator Assistant Professor, The National University of Political Studies and Public Administration (SNSPA), Bucharest,
Romania; Lecturer, National Institute for the Training and Improvement of Lawyers (INPPA), Bucharest Centre, Bucharest,
Romania; PhD candidate, Faculty of Law of the University of Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania; Attorney-at-law, Bucharest Bar,
Romania; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.