Employer not paying sick days

41 posts in this topic

Hi everyone,

 

I have an employer who has been bullying me and pressuring me to quit for months now. Just today I have been informed the below and am wondering if this is true and legal?

 

Because I have had 42 days of sickness this year (at different times throughout the year, all unrelated illnesses, but recently had time off as a result of getting sick due to bullying at work) they will not pay me if I have 1 more sick day. The insurance would have to take over, and the insurance can only take over paying me if I have mailed the insurance all my sick notes from this year.
 
Please note my sicknesses this year ranged from the flu, strep more than once, etc. (normal illnesses) accounting for about 15 days of illness total. Recently the bullying has gotten really bad and my doctor says my level of stress and depression are causing me to get sick more often, so I have had more illnesses and received longer time off from my Doctor who knows the details of my situation at work.
 
I was told by many people and my doctor that the employer must pay for your sick days until after 6 weeks of CONTINUOUS illness. Not that an employer will stop paying at 6 weeks of total illness throughout the year for various sicknesses.
 
It would be great to have your advice as my doctor has recommended I take 6 weeks sick leave due to depression and anxiety from bullying at work, in order for me to recover and also search for a job that is more supportive of my mental well being, and I am afraid I will not be paid if I take the six weeks off. Recently they did not pay me for a few vacation days, so I am afraid they will not pay me for sick days even if they are required to.
 
I would also greatly appreciate any recommendations for a lawyer that does a first free consultation in the Munich area.
 
Thanks so much for your advice!
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You are right. They do have to continue paying if it's not always for the same reason. If they refuse to pay you could try to ask your insurance to give something in writing to explain to the employer when they must pay and when the insurance takes over.

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Quote
Because I have had 42 days of sickness this year (at different times throughout the year, all unrelated illnesses, but recently had time off as a result of getting sick due to bullying at work) they will not pay me if I have 1 more sick day.
 
Please note my sicknesses this year ranged from the flu, strep more than once, etc. (normal illnesses) accounting for about 15 days of illness total.

 

So which one is it?

 

I'd follow LeonG's advice but maybe you could also go to the Job Center and ask there.

 

I doubt you can find a solicitor in Munich that will give you a free first session. You certainly don't find them in Frankfurt.

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Is there such a thing as a tipping point for sick days?   42 work days equal ~two months off.  I know how employers and landlords are regarded here, but if I've got a business to run, I'd find a way to eliminate chronic Typhoid Mary from my payroll.

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Expressed with your usual tact and compassion, catjones - don't ever change. (Just for the record: if she's staying away from work when sick, she's the opposite of Typhoid Mary...)

 

Smaug and LeonG are correct. Health insurance takes over paying your salary if you're out more than 6 weeks in a row or, in some cases, out for 6 weeks in total over longer periods for the same illness. Your boss is not entitled to dock your pay, nor may he withhold paid vacation days.

 

Pro bono isn't anywhere as widespread in Germany as it is in the U.S., I'm afraid, but an initial consultation with a lawyer shouldn't cost more than €150-200. You can call and ask about the fees ahead of time. There are several search engines for finding lawyers with the appropriate specialization and, if needed, language skills: https://www.anwaltssuchdienst.de/, https://www.anwalt24.de/, and https://www.anwalt-suchservice.de/ are just 3 of them.

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Surely the OP has also been sending sicknotes to her Krankenversicherung, so why not give them a call?

The Krankenversicherung will surely know all the ins and outs of the legal situation, and be able to give the OP the advice she requires at no extra cost.

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On 11/18/2019, 12:32:25, mausinmuc said:

The insurance would have to take over, and the insurance can only take over paying me if I have mailed the insurance all my sick notes from this year.

 

If you have not already done so, make sure that your Krankenkasse has received all of their copies of your sick notes (you should have always received three copies, one for your records, one for employer and one for the Kasse). From now on you should make sure to send them their copy within a week. Your Krankenkasse can also let you know whether or not you entitled to Krankengeld. 

 

On 11/18/2019, 12:32:25, mausinmuc said:

Recently they did not pay me for a few vacation days, so I am afraid they will not pay me for sick days even if they are required to.

 

What do you mean that didn't pay you for a few vacation days!?!?!

 

On 11/18/2019, 9:37:16, Smaug said:

but maybe you could also go to the Job Center and ask there.

 

No! Not the JobCenter! The (misnamed) JobCenter in Germany is the welfare office.

 

 

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Let me try to understand that a bit better since your different postings confused me slightly. In June you post a message that you are concerned about potentially not getting a promised raise after end of probation period (so I take it you still were in probation at that stage). You seem to be keen in getting a blue card where you currently are below threshold regarding income. You state that you urgently want to come on fast track for permanente Aufenthaltserlaubnis to make your stay in Germany a fixed one. In August you ask for advice on  going to part time under  EAT (which definitely wont help reaching the blue card yearly income). And in November you post that your employer has been harrassing you for months now to quit and you have been sick for 15 or maybe 42 days this year. Your employer says 42 and you say there were only 15 days but your doctor mentioned is has to be 6 weeks in one go. I do not get how you need to get Information about 6 weeks sickness leave and after that who is going to pay if you had only 15 days sickleave all in all and why your employer says it were 42 days so far.  Max. time for probation is 6 month in Germany (unless it is prolonged with reason at which stage you better get not 1 single day sick). This means worst case you started in Januar thus ending probation in June. So you had the 15/42 days after end of probation? Cause getting 15/42 days sick leave starting during probation would have made many employers sack you during probation. Plus a few days off for vacation which you are entitled to but wasnt paid as you claim. Seems to be like you  were 1 month off out of 4 month past end of probation (15 days plus a few days off)? If your employers calculation is correct you were even 2 months off out of 4 months after end of probation ( 42 days plus a few days off)? Please enlighten me with more background to allow proper recommendations.

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Hi,

 

to clear things up I am at my job for a year now. I had 15 sick days before I started to have issues with my employer over the summer. These days included 1 strep and 1 of the flu. Normal sicknesses, sucks but it happens. I got a positive review stating I was over performing after my probation ended. I was informed I would receive a raise to get the blue card after probation during my hiring process. Upon following up on the raise, the problems began. Told I was an underperforming, not completing the basic tasks of my job, and they would not provide me with my performance review stating otherwise, many meetings trying to convince me to quit, which is all bizarre seeing as a month earlier I had such a positive review with them. Then not paying me for a holiday, telling me I took too long of a coffee break and now I need to start recording my hours and breaks, etc. despite the fact everyone else has flex hours and take many breaks and long lunches. I have lots of co workers informing me what my new boss says about me when I’m not around and trying to gossip about me and hurt the team relationship. I feel like they are pushing and pressuring me to quit. I think because of the stress and bullying my immune system is a mess. I have been sick very often since the issues have started and I now have a total of 38 sick days. My employer was incorrect saying I had 42 in our online documentation system. My doctor has urged me to find a new job and take 6 weeks off now to recover and begin seeing a Psychotherapeutin. He says I will continue to get sick working here in such an environment. I definitely understand from a business perspective, I’ve had a lot of sick days and they would want to fire me now. I’m not proud of the sick days and it’s not the norm for me or my history at previous jobs. I’ve told my employer at the last meeting if they don’t want me here, they should fire me instead of playing these games, because it’s causing me a lot of stress and I feel bullied. but so far I think they don’t have enough legal reason to fire me so they won’t do it. 

 

I did talk to the insurance and it was very helpful! he said they must pay for my sick days if they are for different illnesses. After having 42 sick days (whether all at the same time or throughout the year), the employer can contact the insurance to confirm if the sick days are all the same illness or different illnesses. When it’s different illnesses, the employer must continue to pay. When it’s the same illness for all 42 days, the insurance takes over paying at about 70% of the salary. 

 

As for my post about working part time, it was just an idea I had if I left this job and started a new one, maybe part time would be good so I can focus on my health and also learning german. I know it wouldn’t be helpful for obtaining the blue card. I was just curious if it as even a possibility with my permit so I understand my options for future employment and applying for new opportunities! 

 

Thank you everyone for your advice and information! :) 

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2 hours ago, robinson100 said:

Surely the OP has also been sending sicknotes to her Krankenversicherung, so why not give them a call?

The Krankenversicherung will surely know all the ins and outs of the legal situation, and be able to give the OP the advice she requires at no extra cost.

Just as a matter of interest what happens if you don't send the insurance company the sick notes? 

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1 hour ago, engelchen said:

 

If you have not already done so, make sure that your Krankenkasse has received all of their copies of your sick notes (you should have always received three copies, one for your records, one for employer and one for the Kasse). From now on you should make sure to send them their copy within a week. Your Krankenkasse can also let you know whether or not you entitled to Krankengeld. 

 

 

What do you mean that didn't pay you for a few vacation days!?!?!

 

 

No! Not the JobCenter! The (misnamed) JobCenter in Germany is the welfare office.

 

 

I dont think it is really misnamed. There are job offers there and they help you to find a job. I agree it's generally for welfare but...

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If you don’t send the insurance the sick notes within 7 days of receiving them, then if you have more than 42 days of illness for the SAME illness, the employer does not have to pay for any additional sick days and the insurance cannot take over paying because they did not receive the notes in time. 

 

If the days of illness are for different reasons, after 42 days of illness you will still get paid by the employer as long as you mail in all notes late so insurance can check them to see reasons for illness. 

 

Kind of complicated but insurance explain do it to me yesterday. Hope that’s helpful! 

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52 minutes ago, McDee said:

I dont think it is really misnamed. There are job offers there and they help you to find a job. I agree it's generally for welfare but...

 

It is misnamed.The Agentur für Arbeit not the JobCenter is the institution responsible for Arbeitsmarktförderung in Germany.

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1 hour ago, McDee said:

But they help you to find a job, oder?

 

No, the JobCenter is only responsible for those who are on their welfare roles.

 

On the other hand, it is possible for people looking for work to sign up as Arbeitssuchend ohne Leistungen at the Agentur für Arbeit.

 

More importantly, some foreigners have a clause in their residence permits that results in their permits become automatically void if they apply for welfare benefits. 

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how many of your sick days were without certificate? At least at my employer less than 3 days in a row require no certiifcate at all and in that case nothing is filed to insurance that detials the reason for illness. 

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I have 5 instances of needing sick notes from this year. None of the notes are for the same reason. The remainder of my sick days didn’t require notes to be turned into insurance because it was less than 3 days of sickness. 

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17 hours ago, mausinmuc said:

 The remainder of my sick days didn’t require notes to be turned into insurance because it was less than 3 days of sickness. 

 

Just a word of warning, if you like - your boss can ask for a sicknote for any time you take off "sick", and if he is giving you a hard time at the moment, be prepared for him to insist upon getting one even if you go home early with a headache in future.

Get a sicknote for everything, just to keep yourself safe from him, okay?

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This really does sound serious. You mentioned a new boss. Did that start with the new boss? What did they answer in that meeting that your rather have them firing you than treating you like this? Is there any chance of changing the department?

They can't fire you as easy they need to follow rules. As for my recommendations I would start applying somewhere else. Today.  Like now.

Ive been through this (after 9.5 years in that company with excellent reviews, and I didnt have a single day of sick leave when they started) and it can break a person. Do your job as good as possible and dont panic. 

Also take care that there is not a single day of sick leave without a doctors note. Just in case

 

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Bullying of employees to make them leave has been perfected to an art in German companies, exactly because firing is comparatively difficult in this country.

It looks like the OP is being pushed out.

I recommend talking to an employment lawyer about a strategy - negotiate severance (greater than the three months of unemployment she would lose) versus hanging in there and getting fired and going to court? Usually the latter is recommended.

Also, start looking for a new job. This situation will not end well.

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