Fed up with litigation: Nestlé is not appealing a bullying verdict. (icon picture)
The food multinational will not appeal the decision of the Canton of Vaud Court of Appeal, the spokesman said. He confirmed a report by the French-speaking Swiss newspaper “Le Temps” on Tuesday.
Motarjemi joined Nestlé in 2000 and was responsible for food safety there. She was fired in 2010 and a year later took legal action against her former employer. Among other things, she accused the company of not having adequately protected her against bullying.
Although the existence of bullying was recognized in the first instance, Nestlé as an employer was exonerated. However, the Court of Appeal then convicted Nestlé in 2020 of violating the Labor Code. The judges ruled that the company had not done enough to protect employees from bullying.
Nestlé appealed this judgment to the federal court, which, however, did not hear the appeal. Instead, the case went back to the Court of Appeal, which was to decide, among other things, the amount of damages claimed by the plaintiff.
According to “Le Temps”, this judgment was made on December 27 last year, and the appeal period runs until Thursday. Motarjemi told the newspaper that she would not appeal the verdict either.
The amount of compensation Motarjemi is expected to receive from Nestlé is not known. She had originally demanded a symbolic amount of one franc in damages plus 2.1 million francs for her expenses and lost wages.
Motarjemi accused Nestlé of unethical practices last summer. It was about bacterially contaminated frozen pizza from the company’s subsidiary Buitoni in France.
Nestlé linked the bonuses of its managers to the recall of products, Motarjemi explained to the French television broadcaster BFMTV. “That means if you withdraw a defective product from the market, you don’t get a bonus,” she said.
The Buitoni case involved pizza that was contaminated with E. coli bacteria and is said to have caused the death of two children. According to the health authorities, 56 people were infected with bacteria who would have had the same symptoms. A connection between the occurrence of these infections and the consumption of the brand’s frozen pizza has been confirmed, it said.
The Buitoni factory in Caudry, France, was then closed for several months.