Can you be fired for consciously coughing at work in Corona times?


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The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is a global epidemic. As a result, the German government imposed extensive protective measures to halt the spread of COVID-19. So what happens if you are coughing at work? Can you be fired?

There are current court cases in Germany that can affect our lives everyday. Below are a few cought cases tha make the whole discussions interesting and weird.

Corona coughing can justify termination without notice

Regional Labor Court Düsseldorf (Az. 3 Sa 646/20)

Jannis Janske* works in a company where, like everywhere else, there are clear rules of conduct and hygiene in matters of Corona. This also includes sneezing or coughing only with a paper tissue or, if necessary, a sleeve. A colleague complains, however: The employee does not take it seriously, he coughed at her from a maximum of an arm’s length away, willfully and without protection. He also said he hoped that the colleague would get Corona. Mr. Janske contradicts: He kept all the rules and said the colleague should chill out; she wouldn’t get any corona. Nevertheless, the employer decides to terminate the contract without notice. Mr. Janske takes action against it.

The regional labor court in Düsseldorf ruled: “With the conscious coughing up close and the following statement, the duty of consideration at the workplace is violated in a considerable way. If the employee also makes it clear that he is not adhering to the occupational health and safety regulations, a warning is not sufficient in such a case, termination without notice is justified. However, the facts alleged by the colleague could not be proven beyond doubt here. “


Car subscription providers must provide information on fuel consumption and CO2 emissions

District Court Munich I (Az. 17 HK O 11810/20)

So-called car subscriptions are becoming increasingly popular. The customer pays a fixed monthly amount and receives a car in return. Apart from washing and refueling, there are no other costs. One of the providers of such subscriptions advertises new models on its website. However, potential car customers cannot find any information on fuel consumption or CO2 emissions there. However, this is prescribed by the Energy Consumption Labeling Ordinance for passenger cars. The company argues it is not covered by the regulation. The subscription is not a form of leasing.

No, they said at the Regional Court in Munich I: “Even if there are differences to classic leasing, the company must provide the required information. Because the sense and purpose of the regulation is that when purchasing a new car, it takes into account consumption and CO2 emissions It is even necessary that the values ​​appear automatically when information about the engine is entered on the website. “

No compensation for pain and suffering because of being burned with hot soup on the plane

Regional court Cologne (Az. 21 O 299/20)

Pamela Palmenwind * is on a long-haul plane. Immediately after the rest period, the passers-by are given a warm menu. First course is a hot soup. In court, the woman claims that she lifted the porcelain bowl with her left hand. It was so hot that she had to take it off again quickly, some of the soup flowed into the cleavage and caused second-degree burns. For cooling she was only given crushed ice in a cloth napkin, no burn ointment and no medical help. She is suing the airline for five-figure compensation. She was not only in pain, but was also mentally damaged. A stewardess explains in court that the passenger leaned back hard while eating the soup.

The Cologne District Court saw the case as follows: “The plaintiff wanted to eat the soup in a sitting position that was strongly reclined – there is no other explanation for her injuries. To avoid them, she would have to sit upright independently and check the temperature of the soup before eating If the porcelain bowl had really been that hot, it would not have lifted it in the first place and the injuries would have been avoided.”

Michelle Halterman
Michelle Halterman
USA, China, South Africa and now Munich - Michelle has come a long way in the world. She is an outdoor person and loves to be in nature with friends and on her mountain bike. Or she meets up with friends for pasta, vino, cappaccino & Co.


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