Even during carnival time there are limits. According to a ruling of the LAG Düsseldorf (Regional Labour Court of Düsseldorf), anyone misbehaving too much during office festivities for carnival risks being fired (13 Sa 957/15).
GRP Rainer Lawyers and Tax Advisors in Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and London conclude: In large parts of Germany, carnival celebrations have reached their critical phase. Carnival is also celebrated within a lot of businesses, but those celebrating should not let things get out of hand lest they run the risk of being fired. This was made clear by a ruling of the Landesarbeitsgericht Düsseldorf of December 22, 2015 affirming the dismissal without notice of a severely disabled employee.
The man had worked for 28 years for the company and never done anything wrong. Then came an incident in 2015 on Altweiberfastnacht (last Thursday before Shrove Tuesday), sometimes also known as “Women’s Carnival Day”, during festivities on company premises. As is customary on Women’s Carnival Day, two female co-workers approached the man in question who was dressed as Al Capone hoping to cut off his tie. However, he wanted to keep his tie. He was then pressured by another co-worker in a clown costume and subsequently lost control, pushing his beer glass into the “clown’s” face and thereby causing it to shatter. A doctor on emergency call had to remove several broken pieces of glass from the co-workers forehead.
As a consequence, the employer gave notice of dismissal with immediate effect on March 13, 2015 after consulting the works council and with the approval of the integration office. Employment law provides that termination of an employment contract without notice is possible if the employer has good cause. The Arbeitsgericht Düsseldorf (Labour Court of Düsseldorf) considered this to be the case here and dismissed the employee’s action against his dismissal. The plaintiff had claimed that he suffered from an anxiety disorder and felt threatened, and was therefore criminally incapable.
The entire incident was recorded by a security camera on company grounds. After carefully examining the video footage, the LAG Düsseldorf also rejected the plaintiff’s appeal. The LAG refused leave for further appeal.
Terminating an employment contract can potentially prove to be challenging. Lawyers who are competent in the field of employment law can advise on preparing employment contracts, termination notices, severance payments as well as other issues pertaining to employment law.
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