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Consequences of receiving an "Abmahnung"

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I was wondering what the consequences are when you get an "Abmahnung" here in Germany. Not that I got one, but I've heard that you can get something like this when you've done something against the rules where you work and that it's a pretty serious thing. I even heard that you can get this when you tell someone how much you earn...???

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I even heard that you can get this when you tell someone how much you earn...???

Does your work contract explicitly state that you are not allowed to reveal your salary? Or did your boss explicitly instruct you not to reveal it? If neither, then you are free to shout it from the rooftops.

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AFAIK, the main consequence of an Abmahnung is that if you don't stop doing whatever it is that caused the Abmahnung in the first place, the employer may have the right to fire you (i.e. he can't fire you immediately, but he needs to warn you first, and give you a chance to remedy/improve).

 

But I can't tell you exactly which things can trigger a valid Abmahnung, and which can't.

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AFAIK, the main consequence of an Abmahnung is that if you don't stop doing whatever it is that caused the Abmahnung in the first place, the employer may have the right to fire you (i.e. he can't fire you immediately, but he needs to warn you first, and give you a chance to remedy/improve). ...

i'm not ashamed to admit but i got an Abhmahung at my first job in Germany. without going into any details here, i got blamed for work that was not done, but since i had proof the work was not assigned to me (e-mail), my lawyer told me not to worry. the reason for the Abmahnung (which made sense after we began receiving e-mails about code of conduct, etc. we had seen lawyers come in and out of the office, but no one knew why) was that the company was going bankrupt and they were trying to fire people, legally, instead of offering people money to leave. in order for a company to do this, the company has to give you 3 Abmahnung, then they have the right to fire you. after which, it is up to you to sue and fight being fired.

 

3 months later, after doing excellent work, putting in 55+ hours a week, taking over more responsibility and work not related to what i was doing and thus being praised by my supervisor, i was given a 2nd Abmahnung. admittedly, i had made a mistake. i overlooked a small sample of data. sadly that data was incorrectly labeled and being crushed for time, i put it at my bottom list of priorities. my supervisor told me my mistake was a forgivable one, pointing out horrible work done by other people which meant they could be fired on the spot (not to mention one colleague who consistently came into work drunk), but she admitted to me she was pressured to find people to fire. and although i had 4 years seniority over 6 new hires, her manager was a former Accenture project mgr and he saw me as the easiest to get rid of first (b/c I was single w/no kids).

 

so my lawyer advised me to look for a new job ASAP, but explained once I got fired, i could sue and would win b/c those Abmahnung were not justified, especially the first one. when i found a new job, i asked for an Abhebungsvertrag, got a good severance package and left. well, they could have given me the money in the first place! the company filed for bankruptcy a year later, has fired over 30 people in the last 4 years and those who did stay, went without pay for 2 months in 2005. i got lucky.

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Some while ago I had some experience with this, my memory has become a bit hazy so IIRC: To be fired you must receive, and agree with, three Abmahnungen. For each one you are required to sign it to say you received it and agree. The first one is usually considered a warning and not that serious for you although you must have done something seriously wrong to get it. The second is usually an indication the company is preparing to fire you, requiring a serious fault on your part, and is usually an indication that the third may come soon after the second for any minor transgression of the rules (like surfing the net on company time). After the third you are fired.

 

As Elfenstar mentions if you receive one then you should start to question the company's motives and almost certainly get legal representation, but at the very least keep written records of every conversation you have with management, gather all paperwork that proves you were working well and the Abmahnung is unfounded. Write to the employer contesting the abmahnung and stating you do not agree with factual references proving your point. You may end up happy being fired but you will probably be entitled to a payment to go away so it's worth contesting. This method is often used to get rid of senior/experienced/long serving staff who otherwise would be impossible to fire.

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... To be fired you must receive, and agree with, three Abmahnungen. ...

Right, you have to sign in, but that just means you have received it, not that you agree with it. Each time, I wrote a letter contesting what was written in the Abmahnung and it was politely put in my file. But yes, the 2nd one means they are getting ready to fire you.

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That's indeed correct, but only if your employer/boss/etc. explicitly tells you that it is not allowed.

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[adminmerge][/adminmerge]

What does the official warning/Ermahnung mean for an employee?

What is the consequence?

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Talk to your Betriebsrat. USUALLY - If you've done something very stupid or naughty you get a 1st written warning. If you do something else stupid or naughty you then get a 2nd written warning and then if you persist with your naughtiness/stupidity you get terminated.

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Thanks for the reply.

Does it have any effect on the experience letter when employee wants to switch company?

Is there any time period between two warning (Ermahnung)?

Does the warning ever get cleaned from employee record?

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A company letter can't say anything bad about the employee, but HHRR and bosses developed a hidden language where they can say you are a drunk who like to touch secretary's asses and you will never notice it.

 

The time period for new warnings depends on your own behavior.

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