Verdict in gotze case: community’s accusations too sweeping

Four weeks ago, mayor friedrich gleitsmann (CSU/burgerblock), representing the municipality of wachenroth, and the dismissed head of administration, jasmin gotze, faced off in the nurnberg labor court. Gotze had sued against her dismissal and – as already reported – was proven right.

The editors now have the written grounds for the verdict. It is stated here again that gotze’s action is "predominantly admissible" and "also justified" was. The dismissal is considered "socially unjustified and therefore legally invalid" rejected and the plaintiff certified a claim to continued employment.

The notice might have been legal if the municipality had been able to prove that gotze had behaved in a way that "disturbed the peace […The issues that have been raised in the past ] have a lasting impact and have a detrimental effect on operations can. Then "an ordinary notice of termination for reasons of conduct may be justified".

However, according to the court’s reasoning, "there is a lack of sufficiently concrete factual evidence on the part of the defendant that would make it possible to establish a breach of duty on the part of the plaintiff". A "sweeping and judgmental presentation with words such as ‘mobbing’, ‘arrogance’ or ‘disloyalty’" was insufficient. The verdict also criticizes other sweeping allegations such as "escalation" or "discrepancies, from which it is not clear whether they can be attributed to gotze at all.

The judges also found that there had been no attempt at conciliation as a milder remedy to the notice of termination.

Among other things, the ruling also refers to the reports made by the head of administration against the district administration office. In their opinion, this concerned untenable conditions in the kindergarten – among other things, an inadequate supervision key. It could not be "assessed, […Whether these reports constituted a breach of duty by the plaintiff". If their submissions were justified, "a possible bypassing of the mayor and the municipal council alone cannot be construed as a breach of duty relevant to the notice". Especially since gotze – according to the court – had apparently been at least partially in the right.

The court also dismissed all other points with more or less the same reasoning: the arguments of the community lacked substance and concrete information, and were too sweeping. In addition, the municipality had failed to issue a warning to gotze if deaths or refusals to work had actually occurred.

Ruling not yet legally binding

Conclusion: the plaintiff must "continue to be employed until the legal conclusion of the proceedings for protection against unfair dismissal". Because the municipality still has time to lodge an appeal. The case was then continued in the second instance before the regional labor court in nurnberg.