Your boss is yelled at for insubordination

Employment Law: Warning for naughty employees?

Can I actually issue a warning to an employee if he is unfriendly to me and his colleagues? Asks Manfred Schwieger.

Dear Mr. Schwieger,

Employees must always treat their superiors with a minimum of respect. Disrespectful behavior or disrespectful statements must therefore not be tolerated, as employees should exercise a so-called duty of consideration towards superiors and colleagues. If they do not adhere to this, employers can issue a warning. Unfortunately, employees do not always see that their behavior leaves something to be desired and that the warning is therefore legal. As in the case of an employee who went to the state labor court of Rhineland-Palatinate against his warning - and finally lost on appeal (3 Sa 150/11).

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A manager was insulted several times by one of his employees (who was also the chairman of the works council). The employee once wished him a "shitty weekend", another time a "shitty weekend". Furthermore, he did not follow the instructions to use his own office for his works council work - and not that of the superior. The employer no longer accepted all of this and issued a warning.

The works council chairman sued the warning and wanted to see it removed from his personnel file. But the judges of the Rhineland-Palatinate state labor court also found his behavior to be unacceptable - and the warning issued to him was therefore justified. For one thing, superiors don't have to overlook disrespectful behavior. On the other hand, you can determine which rooms may be used for which purposes.

For your case: You neither have to nor should you accept disrespectful behavior from an employee. And as you can see, in the case of serious breaches of duty such as the desire to have a "shitty weekend", a warning is well justified.

Yours Ulf Weigelt