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“The company as an employer cannot be separated from the liability over the mistake or unlawful acts of its employees in order to carry out their duties. What is the limit of this liability?”

In our client’s lawsuit for traffic accident, wherein the car owner was a company, refused to be liable for negligence of its employee which resulted in material and immaterial damages. The company stated that it was also a “victim” for the employee’s mistake.

The description above shows that there are still many companies which don’t understand their responsibility for their employee’s mistake or unlawful acts in conducting their duties.

In fact, this issue has been clearly set forth in Indonesian Civil Code. Article 1367 paragraph (1) stated:

“A person shall not be only responsible for damages caused by his own acts, but also for damages caused by the actions of person who are his responsibility or caused by goods under his control.”

Furthermore, Article 1367 paragraph (3) of Indonesian Civil Code stated:

“Employers and those who appoint others to represent their affairs shall be responsible for the damages caused by their employees in conducting works for which they are employed.”

In addition to the employers mentioned above, civil law also stated that the school teacher or foreman are responsible for the damages caused by their students or craftsmen during their supervision. These are the concepts regulated in Indonesian Civil Code.

Is there any limitation for the responsibility?
There is an exception or limitation for the responsibility against persons explicitly stated in Article 1367 paragraph (5) of Indonesian Civil Code:

“The responsibilities stated above end if the parents, school teachers and foremen can prove if they cannot prevent the act which they should be responsible for.”

With the limitation set above, it clearly indicates that the employer remains responsible for the negligence or mistake of their employees. It is also based on the legal relationship between employer and employees known as vicarious liability.

Some literatures mentioned that there are two things that determine the existence of vicarious liability: Firstly, there is special relationship between employer and employees, unlawful act done by employee should be related to the work, or Second, it must occur in order to carry out the work.

Therefore, it is clear that the company as an employer of their employees shall be responsible for negligence, unlawful acts or mistake of its employees which resulted in damages for others.

For example, a lawsuit for compensation of accident between Masilah Asnawie as 1st Plaintiff and Erna Wahyu Nurmahasana as 2nd Plaintiff against Perusahaan Oto Bus Ladju as 1st Defendant and Didik Purnomo as 2nd Defendant and Mohamad Deky Aprianto as a joint Defendant.

Through Decision No. 04/Pdt.G/2013/PN Psr, the Judges decided that 1st and 2nd Defendant were responsible for material and immaterial damages as a result of negligence in running public transportation driven by the joint Defendant, which was the responsibility of the Defendants, resulting in traffic accident.

The judges believed that there is legal relationship between PO Bus Ladju and Mohamad Deky as a driver, because Mohamad Deky’s income was came from PO Bus Ladju. Mohamad’s mistake crashing Wahyu was considered inseparatable from PO Bus Ladju’s mistake. The collision happened when Mohamad was conducting his work or PO Bus Ladju’s command.

Moreover, the Judges referred to Article 1367 of Indonesian Civil Code which stated that the employer is responsible for damages caused by his employees in conducting work which the employees were assigned to.

Therefore, legal responsibility for the unlawful acts resulted in compensation to the third party, the company as an employer shall be liable for its employee’s mistake to the third parties.

If the company wishes to hold its employee responsible for his act, the company may file a lawsuit to the employee as he is deemed to have violated the operational standard procedures or negligence in carrying out his duty.

We hope this article is useful.

BP Lawyers can assist you.
BP Lawyers can assist you in providing the best solution for compensation lawsuit against your company’s employees. You can contact us via atau +62821-1234-1235


Author :
Iskandar D.P., S.H.

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