Home > Workplace > Germany > 2008-07-02 - High Labour Court of Mainz, n. 7 Sa 250/08

2008-07-02 - High Labour Court of Mainz, n. 7 Sa 250/08

Workplace · Germany · Contract termination · Faith-Based Organisation

Resignation from the Church by an employee can justify termination of his/her employment contract

Key facts of the case - The employer as defendant is a nursing home for the elderly (rest home) which belongs to the Church (episcopal see). The claimant is an employee of the defendant. She seceded from the Church and declared this decision to her employer 2007. In the following her employment contract was terminated. Now she claims invalidity of the contract termination.

Main reasoning of the court - The claim has to be rejected by the court. The termination of the contract is valid. In the German Constitution there is a constitutional right of self-determination regarding the Church according to Art 140 GG (German Constitution) in conjunction with Art 137 III WRV (Weimar Constitution). Therefore a Basic Order Of Church Service In The Framework Of Churchly Employment Relationship was codified. In Art 5 V of this Basic Order it is regulated that someone who secedes from the Church could not be employed any longer. Moreover Art 5 V Basic Order has to be weighted up with the employee’s constitutional right to freedom of religion (right of not choosing a religion) according to Art 4 I GG. In the case at stake the legal interest of the Church is higher than the employee’s one.