(Decision of the Supreme Court file no. 21 Cdo 4659/2016, from 1 June 2017)
The defendant was working for the plaintiff since 2011 as a truck driver, but on 25 June 2012 an agreement on termination of his employment was concluded with him. On the same day, the defendant issued a promissory note to the plaintiff’s order in the amount of CZK 200,000. The reason for issuing this promissory note was to secure the employer's claim for damages, in this case the lost semitrailer. From the point of view of the facts, it was found that there was no pressure on the defendant.
According to the Supreme Court, the core of labor law is the protection of the weaker party in labor-law relations. Although it is not expressly forbidden to secure the employer's claim against the employee from the employment relationship by virtue of a bill of exchange, that prohibition must be inferred from the basic principles of employment law. The relationship arising from issuing of a bill of exchange is based on inequality of the participants, as the debtor is at a considerable disadvantage and the bill of exchange thus fundamentally aggravates his position as an employee. The employer may engage a third person in the legal relationship who will become the owner of the bill of exchange instead. However, according to the provision of Article 338 of the Labor Code, the transfer of rights and obligations from labor relations can occur only in the cases stipulated by the Labor Code. Although the bill does not become invalid, it constitutes an objection of the inadmissible reason for the bill of exchange due to the invalidity of the agreement on the bill of exchange.