European Union – Employment. Article 2(2)(b)(i) of Council Directive (EC) 2000/78 precluded national legislation under which an employer could dismiss an employee on the grounds of his intermittent absences from work, even if justified, in a situation where those absences were the consequence of sickness attributable to a disability suffered by that worker, unless that legislation, while pursuing the legitimate aim of combating absenteeism, did not go beyond what was necessary in order to achieve that aim, which was a matter for the referring court to assess. The Court of Justice of the European Union so held in a preliminary ruling in proceedings concerning the lawfulness of an employee's dismissal following legitimate absences from work.