– Damn nice! cried Stine Kristoffersen after the Svea Court of Appeal upheld a district court ruling against her former managers at care company Atendo.
Stine Kristoffersen became nationally famous in the spring of 2020 when she exposed shortcomings in Covid care at Sabatsbergsbyn in Stockholm, a nursing home run by Atendo on behalf of the Stockholm municipality.
After speaking at Expressen, Stine Christophersen was summoned to a meeting with her line manager, where Attendo’s regional director was also present.
Stine Christophersen had to receive a written reminder in which she was accused of disloyalty to the company – and was reminded that this could lead to dismissal or dismissal.
When the incident was tried in district court last fall, two of the three directors involved were found guilty of violating the Whistleblower Protection Act.
The convicted directors appealed the ruling to the Court of Appeal. Although they had no new arguments, the result was not announced. The law is so new that there are no prior provisions to provide guidance.
But the Court of Appeal thus affirms the district court’s ruling. At the same time, the Court of Appeal clarifies the reasons for the conviction.
The normal routine within Attendo is that employees who are perceived to have misbehaved receive a reminder – a kind of warning – from their line manager. But in serious cases, the Regional Director is also involved.
This is what happened when Stine Kristoffersen got his memory. Which confirms the weight in it.
The defendant executives argued that impeachment is not as severe a punishment as retaliation prohibited by law. But the Court of Appeal disagreed.
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The convicts must pay the daily fines and legal expenses themselves, even though what they were convicted of was done while they were representing their employer.
Therefore, Attendo is not affected by the ruling. The law assumes that only natural persons can commit crimes against the Whistleblower Protection Act, not corporations.
– I hope all middle managers understand that they have a personal responsibility. Staff at private care companies are now in a slightly stronger position when providing information to the media, says Stine Christophersen.
– But basically, I think this is Atendo’s responsibility. What happened was part of the company culture.
The ruling can be appealed to the Supreme Court no later than October 6.
A six-year-old team
The Freedom of Information Act came into force in 2017. It aims to give employees in privately run (but publicly funded) care and social care organizations the right to tell the media about abuses in their workplace, just as municipal and state employees are allowed to do.
The ruling in the Stine Christophersen case is the first in which the law has been put to the test
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