Bullying at work and constructive dismissal - Germany

Info about your rights and German employment law

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drea
hi there! My friend has a big problem at work. She was promised a wage increase and promotion in the six-monthly work assessment thingy. And she never got it. In fact even after a year and a half in the job she hasn't got past the probzeit starting wage, which should have been increased after 6 months. The reason she was given was that she wasn't good enough at her job at the time of the probetzeit ending. But now she is constantly working overtime and has significantly increased the range of duties and has improved...hence the promised pay increase and promotion. She blames it on her boss hating her. There was a bit of a personality clash. I think this seems to be a case of either bullying or constructive dismissal to me. Does anyone have any advice or similar experiences? What is the story with the german employment law? I would think if it has been put in writing that she will get the extra money then she should plus backpayment.

Related topics: employee dismissal in Germany
MoiLV
if it's in writing then definitely. They can't use the excuse that she wasn't good enough after the Probezeit, because if she really wasn't good enough then they would've fired her.. I think they're taking the piss..
Darkknight
Tell your friend to contact a lawyer that specializes in Work/Employement law. TT is not a "Free Law Advice" service. Only they can give your friend the correct official way for going about this problem.
stanford
drea,

If it is that bad now...maybe you friend should begin looking for a job now before she is unemployed looking for a job in six months time. Shit bosses don't tend to get better with time...just like people shouldn't stay in abusive relationships (hoping for a changing)...bad bosses should be left for 1. another job or 2. another department.

Start bringing lawyers into the situation will only likely make the situation worse...
sarabyrd
In this case, one determined letter from a lawyer should get your friend her back pay unless it falls under a statute of limitation. But she should start looking for a new job anyway, because if her boss is this mean a lawyer's letter will make things much worse.
@ stanford- they ain't all bad ...
drea
cheers for the advice...I've been trying to get her to go to a lawyer to sort out the position. Or at least the betriebsrat. Surely this type of thing is what they are set up for. But she won't. She's the type who prefers to moan to her friends but is too scared to stand up to the boss. Which is exactly why she is in the position that she is in now.

ps I didn't think that TT is a 'free law advice' center...its just that we don't know german law in the same way as the uk law and thought that people who had been living here for longer might have some knowledge/experience. Isn't that what this forum is for?
Keydeck
But she won't. She's the type who prefers to moan to her friends but is too scared to stand up to the boss.
Well then to fuck with her. If she's not willing to make an effort then she simply doesn't deserve any better.

I guess I could have said that in a more polite way but to hell with it. People like that piss me off. They want everything handed to them on a platter.

Save your efforts for someone who is worth it.
bluedave
I wouldn't be that harsh but yeah, end of the day the situation is in her own hands.

Use the betriebsrat for sure but also be prepared to vote with her feet cos it won't get any better.

As Keydeck hinted though, if someone is prepared to be abused and do nothing but moan to others then there is more than an element of you get what you deserve to the situation.
drea
@ keydeck and bluedave: I agree with what you are saying. She is my friend but I am asking for my own interest as well. I've had a few friends in the same position in the uk and they voted for their feet (but at least they knew the legal position). I highly doubt she'll do the same.

But you are being a bit harsh in one way. I think someone not standing up for themselves in this way is alot to do with confidence and self-esteem. Being told that you are so crap at your job that you are not going to get the money that others are on and knowing that your boss has taken a huge personal dislike to you is a big knock. This is why I feel it is a form of bullying. Still the moaning has been annoying me a tad. Its is a big step to take to do something about it but she does need to do it.

Cheers for your comments...its in her hands now
Kat
I know how this girl feels though. There really isn't a hell of a lot you can do unless you have the wage increase promise in writing (I bet it was only verbally promised). The job market isn't all that great, crap bosses are in the majority, and women are especially likely to be treated shabby because:
1) they very often aren't as aggressive as men
2) they're used to getting shafted and accept a lot of it as the status quo
3) they can't take pointy-haired boss in a fight.
Solution?
1) cry quietly in the bathroom and bring make-up refresher?
2) stand up for yourself and accept that he will be calling you an unstable bitch behind your back
3) be 10 times as good as your male colleagues, work twice as hard, lie like a trouper, smile pleasantly at every pompous ass, watch quietly as he promotes the male moron he drinks beer with anyway and start collecting AK47s, flamethrowers and grenades as a hobby.
DDBug
Or quit.
Kat
Who says the next job will be any better? The odds are against nice women in a bad job market. Either you're a bitch with guns or you're going to take a certain amount of shit. That's all there is to it.
bluedave
That's not true at all Kat, there are 3 women work on my small team of 15 people and none of the three are bitches looking for a fight with me or floor rags waiting to get walked over either.

They are purely professionals doing a job of work and get treated in exactly the same way as the blokes including bollockings if neccessary and praise when warranted.
Kat
I'm sure you think so bluedave, and maybe it's even true in your little team, but as I've seen, the opposite is the norm, and most of the men are not even aware of it; even when they're partly responsible.
Carm
But you are being a bit harsh in one way. I think someone not standing up for themselves in this way is alot to do with confidence and self-esteem. Being told that you are so crap at your job that you are not going to get the money that others are on and knowing that your boss has taken a huge personal dislike to you is a big knock. This is why I feel it is a form of bullying. Still the moaning has been annoying me a tad. Its is a big step to take to do something about it but she does need to do it.
but her lack of self esteem is not her bosses fault, because anybody with any self esteem stands up for themselves (I have started to do at my office). My bosses were so nice to me, and I told them so, and asked for a raise, and got it.
If it her boss that is bullying, then she need to look for another job, if its coworkers (been there too), then she needs to fight back.
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