In November 2018, the Montenegrin Constitutional Court held that an employee’s resignation submitted via email does not fulfill the necessary legal requirements that an employee’s resignation must be delivered in written form. The Constitutional Court took the approach that a resignation can only be legally valid if it is accompanied by an electronic signature. In the relevant case, the employee’s resignation email was delivered to the employer without an electronic signature.
Before this matter ended up before the Constitutional Court, the rulings were rendered from the Basic, Higher, and Supreme Courts.
The Basic and Higher Courts both determined that in order for one’s resignation to be legal, such a resignation must be accompanied with an electronic signature if it is sent via email. Otherwise, the proper form is not satisfied and such a resignation is not legally effective.
By contrast, the Supreme Court took an approach that the electronic signature was not necessary.
Acting upon the employee’s constitutional appeal, the Constitutional Court restored the view that an electronic signature was necessary, reasoning that the email has the character of a “resignation statement” that requires a valid form of signature.
Because of the detail of this and another case, there is confusion over whether the electronic signature is only mandatory for taxpayers while dealing with tax obligations. A new constitutional appeal is expected that will hopefully clarify this point.
Written by Milena Rončević Pejović in cooperation with Karanović & Partners and Roger James of Ogletree Deakins
© 2019 Karanović & Partners and Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak and Stewart, P.C.