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Legal Update

Must an Employer Complete Disciplinary Proceedings before Termination?

25 March 2009
Mayer Brown JSM Legal Update
On 2 March 2009, the Court of First Instance held in Warham & Ors v. Cathay Pacific Airways Limited & Anor (the "CPA Case") that Cathay Pacific Airways Limited ("CPA") was obliged to follow its disciplinary procedure before terminating the employment of a pilot where the underlying reason for the dismissal is CPA's belief that the pilot is guilty of misconduct. This decision runs contrary to the decision of Deputy High Court Judge To in Cheung Chi Keung v. The Hospital Authority (the "HA Case") handed down on 15 February 2006 which held that the Hospital Authority could elect to terminate the employment of an employee by giving the relevant notice and without having to complete a disciplinary process which was in progress at the time of termination of employment. 
This article considers the CPA Case and how it can be reconciled with the earlier HA Case.
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