Watching pornography at work during your lunch break is not a sackable offence, Italy's highest court has ruled.
Fiat wanted to sack an employee who was caught watching pornographic DVDs on his laptop.
The Supreme Court in Rome rejected the judgment of a lower court which had sanctioned the decision by Fiat, the car manufacturer, to sack a factory worker who was caught watching pornographic films on his personal computer during a break in his shift.
The employee, identified in court documents only as Giuseppe Z, was caught watching a hardcore DVD on his laptop at a Fiat factory in Termini Imerese in Sicily in 2008.
A search of his locker revealed two other pornographic DVDs.
The Supreme Court ruled that the worker was free to do what he wanted on his lunch break and should not have been fired.
Judges in Rome said that he had enjoyed "just a glimpse of the film during a meal break" and that it had not interfered with the rest of his shift. The worker was found watching the porn in an electricity supply room on the factory floor.
The protracted legal case began in 2010 when a court in Sicily upheld Fiat's decision to dismiss the man.
But the judgment was overturned in 2011 by a court of appeal in Palermo, the regional capital, and its decision has now been confirmed by the Supreme Court.
The court in Rome did, however, rule in Fiat's favour in another case – that of an employee at its factory in Turin who was caught smoking marijuana during his lunch break.
The judges upheld the company's right to sack him.
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