21 Sep Spanish kiss after World Cup final: a guide to practice
Dismissal for a kiss
The controversial incident will not have escaped anyone’s notice: the president of the Spanish Football Federation, Luis Rubiales, kissing player Jenni Hermoso on her mouth during the awards ceremony following the recent Women’s World Cup final. The kiss sparked worldwide outrage.
Rubiales initially refused to give up his position as president. He has already been discredited in the past for sexist remarks towards women, sex parties at the expense of the Spanish Football Federation and other scandals. Rubiales, however, wanted to rely on the independent agencies to resolve the issue. Spain’s soccer federation initially stayed behind the president, but World Football Federation FIFA suspended Rubiale for 90 days on Aug. 26, pending the outcome of further investigations. After an emergency consultation, on Aug. 28, 2023, the Spanish Football Federation also demanded Rubiales to step down as president. On Sept. 10, 2023, he resigned from his post at the Spanish Football Federation and vice president of UEFA.
Rubiales’ kiss has occupied the sports world for three weeks, but the incident is also of interest in terms of employment law.
Cross-border behavior in the workplace
Transgressive workplace behavior refers to behaviors or actions by employees that violate professional standards, rules of conduct and ethical standards within a work environment. This behavior can range from bullying, harassment and discrimination to theft, fraud, violence or other inappropriate behavior that is harmful to the work environment and colleagues.
It is important to pay attention to possible transgressive behavior in the workplace. This is because it negatively affects employee health and well-being, company performance, staff morale and organizational reputation. Employers have legal obligations to provide a safe and healthy work environment. Both the transgressive behavior itself and the failure to adequately address potential transgressive behavior can lead to legal problems.
What we can do
Employers have a legal responsibility to provide a safe and healthy work environment and must therefore take measures to prevent transgressive behavior. To that end, it is important to have a policy in place that clearly states what behavior is or is not acceptable. This policy should be regularly communicated to staff, for example trough the website, news releases or through training sessions. It is also important that a system exists whereby employees can safely and confidentially report transgressive behavior. This system regulates a procedure for investigating reports and taking appropriate action.
Our attorneys are happy to help you comply with legal obligations regarding a safe work environment and the prevention of transgressive behavior.