A computer specialist, who complained the injustice of salaries at his workplace, allegedly shared the document including the salary increase rates of other employees from a computer that he cleaned and backed up, with his colleagues and superior. His employment contract was terminated unilaterally after this share because of the fact that he “disclosed the professional secret”.

In relation to the termination, the plaintiff who filed a lawsuit before the Employment Court asserted that he shared the document concerning the salary arrangements only with his chief of department and those doing the same job in order to show the unjust treatment owing to the different salary practice, and requested the annulment of unfair termination and the re-employment.

The defendant employer defensed that the plaintiff shared the salary information with a third party, the plaintiff, who obtained and shared the confidential information with regard to the salary increases with an unauthorized third party, was dismissed justly.

After the district court acknowledged the employer to be right, the plaintiff appealed the decision. As a result of the appeal review of the Supreme Court 9th Civil Chamber, it clarified a controversial matter in the employment law, and decreed that the share of employees’ salary increase rate with other colleagues would not constitute “confidential information and professional secret”, and an employee could disclose such information in order to provide the principle of equal treatment.

The Civil Chamber who rendered a precedent decision, evoked that the employer is obliged to treat equally and not to discriminate as per the article 5 of the Labor Law No. 4857 based on the principle of equality in the article 10 of constitution, and emphasized that an employer has to perform equal treatment to employees according to this obligation. It is also decreed in the  same decision that the salaries of employees working at the same workplace should be known by the employees in order for the salary increase rates to be inspected within the scope of the obligation of equal treatment, and the principle of equal treatment comes before the principle of confidentiality.

By this decision, this controversial matter has been clarified. Accordingly, an employee, at the same seniority and work, should have the knowledge of salary and increase rate compared to other employees if criteria are not determined, and in this case the salaries and increase rates will not be confidential on condition that such information will not be used maliciously.