Supreme Court Will Decide If Famous Steakhouse Can Lay off all Employees without Collective Bargaining

The process has general repercussions, that is, it will be applied to other cases; Labor reform opened up possibility but Justice is divided on the theme

São Paulo

Last June 16, the Labor Court in Rio de Janeiro ordered the Fogo de Chão steak house to rehire 100 employees laid off by the chain in the state of Rio de Janeiro. Three days later, the injunction was revoked.

In Brasília, a lower court decision considered the layoffs to be legal, but the regional court complied with the request of the Public Ministry of Labor and ordered the network to reinstate 42 employees. In July, the magistrate of the Superior Labor Court, Aloysio Corrêa da Veiga, ordered the provisional decision to be suspended. The company was therefore authorized to keep the layoffs.

Fogo de Chão restaurant. Crédito André Mortatti - André Mortatti

The back and forth of decisions against or in favor of the steakhouse chain continues, and shines a light on the legal knot as to the legality of mass dismissal without collective bargaining.

About two weeks ago, the court serving Brasília confirmed a previous November ruling that the layoffs did not violate the law. However, in March, in Rio, the 52nd Labor Court ruled the chain to reinstate the dismissed workers and also prohibited the company from firing more than ten employees within a month. To do this, collective bargaining must be opened.

It is on the agenda of the STF (Supreme Federal Court) to resume the judgment of a special appeal that should establish jurisprudence for cases that discuss the topic. The process has general repercussions, that is, it will be applied to other cases.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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