Civil servant unfairly dismissed by Minister of Culture wins court case in Georgia
Guga Gogadze wins trial
The Court of Appeals of Georgia satisfied the claim of Gugi Gogadze, a former employee of the National Agency for the Protection of Cultural Heritage. Gogadze managed to prove that his dismissal in January of this year was part of a staff purge by Georgian Minister of Culture Teya Tsulukiani.
The Court of Appeals overturned the decision of the city court, which in May 2022 did not find in favor of Gogadze, according to the Center for Social Justice, a public organization defending the interests of Gogadze. According to the latest decision of the Court of Appeals, the order to dismiss Gogadze was invalid.
In addition, the court ordered compensation to the dismissed employee – the amount of his salary from the day of dismissal until the execution of the decision. Gogadze also demanded compensation for the fact that at this stage it was impossible to return him to his job. The court partially granted this request and additionally ordered the agency to pay three thousand lari [about $1,100].
“Guga Gogadze is one of 70 cultural workers who were victims of a mass purge of personnel after the appointment of Teya Tsulukiani to the post of Minister of Culture,” the Center for Social Justice said.
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“The unfair dismissal ruling in the cultural sector was the second example that will have particular implications for the labor disputes of other laid-off workers,” the Center for Social Justice said in a statement.
According to the lawyers, ten cases of this kind are in progress. Of these, only two have been judged. In both cases, the dismissal order was declared invalid, and defendants were ordered to pay damages and compensation. The first to win litigation was Dinara Vachnadze, a former employee of the National Museum. She was also compensated.
After Teya Tsulukiani was appointed Minister of Culture of Georgia, dozens of employees of the ministry and other structures subordinate to her were dismissed from their positions. Many of them stated that they consider this decision unreasonable and tie it to political motives.
“We call on Minister Tsulukiani to stop the persecution of cultural workers due to dissent and take into account the demand for organized resistance from dismissed employees, to allow people with relevant competence and experience to work,” the Center for Social Justice said in a statement.
Guga Gogadze wins trial