From the Annals of German Labor Law

Yes, but I'm not.

The Frankfurter Allgemeine brings us this delightful story (g): Call center employee, let's call him Christian, ended every conversation with a customer by saying "Jesus loves you! Thanks for your purchase." Employer: 'Where do you think you are, Alabama?' Not amused, fires employee.

Christian files lawsuit seeking reinstatement, citing his right to religious freedom. The Bochum labor court agrees. This will not surprise anyone who knows German labor courts, or Bochum. Employer appeals to the State Labor Court in Hamm, which decides that no, Christian's right to religious freedom doesn't include a right to tell strangers that Jesus loves them. An employee's religious freedom only outweighs an employer's right to control the employee's performance when job duties would cause 'conflicts of conscience', and Christian hasn't shown that refraining from telling customers that Jesus loves them would do so.

Interesting side note: A Muslim employee does have the right to refuse to handle alcohol on the job (g).

One thought on “From the Annals of German Labor Law

  1. I wish I let myself refus alcohol at work.
    I am tying to figure out standing issues for an equal protection suit where I complain that I do not respect my own rights as a lapsed protestant as the Germans do this Muslim’s. I’ll let you know.

    THe world is allegedly getting flatter, you know.


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