Employment law regarding salary secrecy - I am being threaten with termination

10 posts in this topic

Hello,

First of all, I live in Hesse. I don't know how the laws change from state to state. But I will put that here.

 

I have always been upfront with how much I earnt with other people, I have told them when asked. I saw another co-workers' slip when we had lunch, and he saw mine. There was a pay difference. Not only was he getting more for a job that I do, but I also have additional jobs that are technical skills and require qualifications. I work as a web developer, but I was contracted as a warehouse worker (i was fat and took the job to lose weight, but they looked at my CV and asked if I could build an online shop) - the job has since migrated to me managing and running the website, photography and artwork, and marketing, with warehouse work in addition. The contract only states warehouse and media work, with the initial design of the site.

When my contract renewal came about, I asked for a raise, as I am poorly paid. They said no, but I got to keep the job. Later that day. I had to take the boss on a trip, and he urged me to look for another job (constantly repeating  "as a friend" about 8 times "look for another job, my advice as a friend" in a maybe hour long trip). I said I would look in time, as my current situation doesn't allow me to just go look for a job (lack of German and pending divorce, being the main factors). Monday rolls around, and my boss had sent a message to the company saying I quit. At this point I had not given my formal resignation, nor was the matter discussed outside of the context of "as a friend" while we were on the trip.

 

I have had issues with the job here, for almost 2 years. Harassment has come out of it. Everything from blind rage, to accusations of stealing money to tax fraud (all of which were nothing to do with me)

 

I have an upcoming meeting next Monday (12.11.18), where they are going to discuss my salary matter, more specifically how I found out about my co-workers pay difference.  The co-worker in question has already told that he's breached the contract by revealing pay to me, however indirectly it may have been. I expect the same tactic. He may also be in the meeting with me.

I would like to know if I have a leg to stand on with this matter. As in most countries, the suppression of wage discussion is illegal.

 


Facts:

 

- Everyone at the company gets a base of 1600, with "premiums" for not being sick, or additional tasks. I get the basic 1600, with an additional 200 for not being Ill.

- Everyone has the payment secrecy clause within their contract, and threats have been given to staff members in mass meetings regarding revealing or asking for additional pay. 

 

 

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated, as I can't afford legal help. 

 

 

Regards

 

 

Kupo


 







 

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Seems like you are an underemployed developer who would be better off in a diffferent company.

 

What exactly are you asking?  The best solution is probably to find another job and put it all behind you, which without seeing your CV but based on what you have written probably isnt too hard.

 

The responsible advice to give is probably to see a lawyer (which I know you already said is too expensive).

 

 

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7 minutes ago, zwiebelfisch said:

Seems like you are an underemployed developer who would be better off in a diffferent company.

 

What exactly are you asking?  The best solution is probably to find another job and put it all behind you, which without seeing your CV but based on what you have written probably isnt too hard.

 

The responsible advice to give is probably to see a lawyer (which I know you already said is too expensive).

 

 


It's a complex situation.

I am a self-taught developer, and my qualification comes from www.freecodecamp.org, before that, I was an animator. While I am capable, I wouldn't ever take a full on development, I don't have the fluency, nor do I keep up to date with everything. I simply did this as a hobby. It actually wasn't even mentioned on my CV when applying for the job, they phoned and asked if I was capable, I said yes, given enough time. My whole interview was about photography and art skill...I bought my portfolio. 

I don't live close enough to a major city to take another job, easily at least. I stay in this region because I want to be as flexible as possible with my ex and kids. She simply needs the help, and moving away would cause problems I'd be unable to solve

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To be fair, you don't need to be in a "major city" to do some sort of this work in the FRM area.   It's rather the opposite  - an IT hub built up of smaller cities.   Darmstadt's just come out top of today's future cities index (as it does every year) and it's been noted that Offenbach is climbing these rankings too, a location also benefiting from the boom.   Hanau also has heaps of development. 

 

Was the number in an earlier version of this?  That is low pay though for this area, where the salary average is about 55k, and so no surprise colleagues are on more.   However, it is really not good practice to land colleagues in a difficult situation so I would advise avoiding that.

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51 minutes ago, Kupo said:

Monday rolls around, and my boss had sent a message to the company saying I quit. At this point I had not given my formal resignation, nor was the matter discussed outside of the context of "as a friend" while we were on the trip.

 

As a general rule: don't give in your resignation unless you already have a job lined up, and don't sign anything - if you quit your job you won't get unemployment money. Let them fire you (in writing) if they really want to.

 

56 minutes ago, Kupo said:

The co-worker in question has already told that he's breached the contract by revealing pay to me

 

Such clauses are often invalid, but you (or he) would need a lawyer for that

 

 

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3 hours ago, Kupo said:

Hello,

First of all, I live in Hesse. I don't know how the laws change from state to state. But I will put that here.

 

I have always been upfront with how much I earnt with other people, I have told them when asked. I saw another co-workers' slip when we had lunch, and he saw mine. There was a pay difference. Not only was he getting more for a job that I do, but I also have additional jobs that are technical skills and require qualifications. I work as a web developer, but I was contracted as a warehouse worker (i was fat and took the job to lose weight, but they looked at my CV and asked if I could build an online shop) - the job has since migrated to me managing and running the website, photography and artwork, and marketing, with warehouse work in addition. The contract only states warehouse and media work, with the initial design of the site.

When my contract renewal came about, I asked for a raise, as I am poorly paid. They said no, but I got to keep the job. Later that day. I had to take the boss on a trip, and he urged me to look for another job (constantly repeating  "as a friend" about 8 times "look for another job, my advice as a friend" in a maybe hour long trip). I said I would look in time, as my current situation doesn't allow me to just go look for a job (lack of German and pending divorce, being the main factors). Monday rolls around, and my boss had sent a message to the company saying I quit. At this point I had not given my formal resignation, nor was the matter discussed outside of the context of "as a friend" while we were on the trip.

 

I have had issues with the job here, for almost 2 years. Harassment has come out of it. Everything from blind rage, to accusations of stealing money to tax fraud (all of which were nothing to do with me)

 

I have an upcoming meeting next Monday (12.11.18), where they are going to discuss my salary matter, more specifically how I found out about my co-workers pay difference.  The co-worker in question has already told that he's breached the contract by revealing pay to me, however indirectly it may have been. I expect the same tactic. He may also be in the meeting with me.

I would like to know if I have a leg to stand on with this matter. As in most countries, the suppression of wage discussion is illegal.

 


Facts:

 

- Everyone at the company gets a base of 1600, with "premiums" for not being sick, or additional tasks. I get the basic 1600, with an additional 200 for not being Ill.

- Everyone has the payment secrecy clause within their contract, and threats have been given to staff members in mass meetings regarding revealing or asking for additional pay. 

 

 

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated, as I can't afford legal help. 

 

 

Regards

 

 

Kupo


 







 

 

I am not a lawyer. You need one. I think your employer will be destroyed in the court. Specifically:

 

- the employment law generally allows employers to prohibit you from disclosing company secrets to the third parties

- but if the two regular developers talk with each other the company has to prove this was actually damaging the company which would normally not be the case

- the company, of course, cannot somehow unilaterally pretend that you quit, they have to actually fire you

- you main job now is to make sure that you don't give any grounds to fire you with cause, don't sign any documents saying you quit voluntarily

 

Basically, if they try to fire you unjustly and you have grounds to contest that, the resulting process will be extremely unfavorable to the company. You also need to demonstrate that you will be a pain in the ass in that case. 

 

The good resolution in this case would be that you agree with the company on 4-6 monthly salaries for you to go quietly. That's why you need a lawyer now – to know how strong a negotiation position you have and what you should be aiming for in the negotiations or in the court.

 

The other posters gave a reasonable advice, that is, your description relationship with the company in any case doesn't leave much hope that you will productively work there in the future, so yes, you need a new job. But if they are in the wrong (and they seem to be from what you post), you should receive the appropriate compensation so that you perform the job search with sufficient cash reserves.

 

 

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How to get legal advice or representation in court if you have limited means or a low income.

 

Although you may not qualify to get legal representation before the courts you may still be able to get (almost) free legal advice in a one to one meeting with a lawyer.

 

Do be sure to read the entire post very carefully as even the parts which may not apply to your issue do contain tips and links on important matters wrt the general seeking of qualified legal advice.

 

Be sure to understand the fact that if you quit or sign any agreement to accept your termination you will have voluntarily excluded yourself from access to unemployment benefit for at least 12 weeks.

 

Unemployment Benefits (Arbeitslosengeld) - www.arbeitsagentur.de

More details in English can be found by searching from these links...

Important Leaflets and Forms Bundesagentur für Arbeit

Brochure and videos on the JOBBÖRSE in different languages

 

Good luck, and nil illegitemus carborundum

    (don't let the bastards grind you down) !

 

2B

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Do you have a work council you could ask for support and advice? If not, maybe joining a union would be worth a thought?

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1 hour ago, jeba said:

Do you have a work council you could ask for support and advice? If not, maybe joining a union would be worth a thought?

Not that I am aware of. it's a medium-sized family business, with almost no expertise or organization in any aspect of the business.

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