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No gag after termination

According to a recent decision of the Labour Court Berlin (Arbeitsgericht – docket number: 31 Ga 11742/14) employers cannot gag an employee after termination.

The employer – a private ambulance service provider – tried to silence one of its emergency medical technicians after his summary termination for whistleblowing. The Labour Court ruled that the termination itself was valid as the employee would have needed to address existing grievances internally first instead of denouncing the employer in the media in the first instance. However, the judge also made clear that the employee does not have to keep quiet once and for all and dismissed a corresponding emergency petition of the employer. According to the Court the employee’s statements were a sufficient reason for the summary dismissal but at the same time covered by the employee’s fundamental right of free speech.