Insult in the workplace by colleagues: threatening warning?

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If it comes to an insult in the workplace by colleagues, the company peace is disturbed. Depending on the seriousness of the honor injury threatens a warning or even the termination without notice. The circumstances of the insult are used for the evaluation.

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What counts as an insult in the workplace?

An insult is an act or statement that is objectively capable of violating the honor of a colleague. In case of dispute, the court will examine the circumstances of the incident:

• Is there a rough or polite tone in the industry?
• Was the insult preceded by provocation by the colleague?
• Was it oral or written?
• Did she happen in private or in public?
• Was it the first incident of this kind?
• What educational level does the colleague have?

So these are always case by case decisions. As insufficient for dismissal considered the competent judge individual titles as "asshole" (Landesarbeitsgericht Schleswig-Holstein, AZ 4 Sa 474/09) or "wanker" (Landesarbeitsgericht Rheinland-Pfalz, AZ 2 Sa 232/11). An outstretched middle finger accompanied by the insult as "wanker", "asshole" and "poor pig" and other personal insults below the belt line justified, however, quite a termination without notice (Landesarbeitsgericht Hamm, AZ 18 Sa 836/04).

What are the consequences of being insulted in the workplace?

An insult by colleagues disturbs the company peace, which is a violation of the employee's employment obligations. As a rule, colleagues therefore receive a warning after being insulted at the workplace. In case of repetition (bullying) or a particularly violent insult, it can also lead to a termination without notice – especially in racially inciting comments practice the courts little indulgence.

Insult from colleagues – not just at work

An insult by colleagues in the workplace of course falls under the labor law. But comments outside of the company can disturb the peace of the company and thus justify a warning or termination. Offensive statements on Facebook, for example, are regularly heard in court.

So you should behave in insulting the workplace

Write down the exact circumstances and contents of the insult. Ask any witnesses for a description of the events. Then contact your supervisor. The employer has a duty of care and must protect you from such attacks. If he does not do that, you can resign and are entitled to compensation, sometimes even for damages.

Please read the content of our legal information.

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