Home > Workplace > Germany > 2011-02-24 - Federal Labour Court, n. 2 AZR 636/09

2011-02-24 - Federal Labour Court, n. 2 AZR 636/09

Workplace · Germany · Dismissal · Religious practices

Dismissal is unlawful if other employment is possible

Key facts of the case - The claimant is Muslim and has worked for the defendant since 1994. In February 2008 the claimant has refused to work in the defendant’s drinks department since his religion forbids to be in contact with alcohol and even to distribute alcohol. Accordingly the defendant terminated the claimant’s employment contract.

Main reasoning of the court - The court has to grant the claim. The termination of an employer’s employment contract is invalid if the religious reasons which keep the employee from working enable the employer to instruct other work to the employee. Therefore the employee has to explain the religious reasons which lead to the work refusal and the exact excluded work as such. Only then the employer is able to find another work for the employee. If there is another employment for the employee the dismissal will be always invalid.
Generally a store assistant like the claimant in the case at stake has to expect that he receives work encountering with alcohol.

Comment - See the decision: 2009-01-20 - High Labour Court of Schleswig-Holstein, n. 5 Sa 270/08.