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In a report entitled „When Employers Disappear“ published Monday, Nov. 22, 2010, in the Lithuanian weekly Apskaitos aktualijos, we are told that company presidents and sole proprietors often disappear, leaving their employees on their own. „These, not being able to terminate their contracts of employment (!!) continue to work without pay (!!!) or do not work, but are unable to register with the Labor department and cannot obtain unemployment compensation.“ This is because they are … still employed and they can‘t get unemployed, because there is no one to unemploy them. According to the report by Algirdas Bartkevicius, the Lithuanian Labor inspection says that hundreds of such „hanging“ employees contact them each year.

How can this be described? Supreme lunacy? Are these people aficionados of the theatre of the absurd?

Not really. It is the Soviet legal mentality (and legal theory) in action. Note that there is not a single, not one, law or other legal act compelling this outcome. Under the very same Labor Code referenced in the article, a person can certainly quit his job, and it is clearly a unilateral juridical (legal) act by which it is done. That means that it is done entirely at the will of the employee. Of course this is so: it can‘t be any other way, because forced servitude is slavery. Which all normal constitutions prohibit.

But not in practice. And notably, this time, it‘s not the courts who are the guilty ones. This particular ‚case‘ illustrates that the problem goes well beyond the courts. The government is suffused with this mentality. It is the clerks who are treating these people in this horrid way. They are depriving them of their unemployment benefits, to be sure, but what is worse, I think, is that they are treating them just like the Soviets used to. Like ‚people‘ with no rights. Children, deformed, of a lesser god, to be offered up upon the alter of unholy anti-law.

And this is going on in independent Lithuania twenty years after the restoration of independence!


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