Dismissal protection suit - how to take action against unfair dismissals

Many terminations are incorrect or not justified. In this guide, we explain how you can defend yourself against unlawful termination and what formal criteria you must meet.

In order to take action against a termination, it is essential to act quickly. Because the central protection for employees is the dismissal protection lawsuit, which is only available within a narrow time window.

What is the dismissal protection lawsuit?

The dismissal protection lawsuit is a legal tool for employees to challenge a dismissal. It allows the employee to have the dismissal reviewed by the court for its validity. The invalidity of a dismissal can result from various reasons. For example, the dismissal

  • must be declared in writing
  • in the case of an ordinary dismissal, the period of notice must be assured
  • in the case of termination without notice, there must be a reasonable cause - e.g. particularly serious misconduct on the part of the employee
  • the works council must be consulted, if one exists

What are the benefits of an action for unfair dismissal?

The action for protection against unfair dismissal is intended to ward off unjustified dismissal. It can have two goals:

1. The continued employment of the employee

If the labour court considers the dismissal to be unlawful, it determines that the dismissal is invalid. The employment relationship will then continue to exist. The employer may terminate the employment relationship for any other reason not reviewed in the court proceedings. However, this notice of termination must then be submitted again in compliance with the formal requirements. The employee can (and must) continue to offer and provide the work performance.

2. A severance payment in the event of termination of the employment relationship

The consequences of continued employment can be expensive for the employer. Because

  1. The procedure up to the conclusion of the dismissal protection proceedings usually takes several months.
  2. The employer must then continue to employ you and bear the costs of the proceedings and
  3. pay the salary for the duration of the legal proceedings.

To avoid these risks, employers usually agree to a severance payment of up to half a gross monthly salary per year of employment.

There are also situations where the labour court orders the employer to pay severance pay: This is the case, for example, if you as an employee cannot reasonably be expected to continue the employment relationship or if you have been dismissed for operational reasons and are entitled to severance pay. In order to be entitled to this, your employment contract, an applicable works agreement or collective bargaining agreement must provide for severance pay in the event of dismissal for operational reasons.

Chance of defending against your dismissal?
Find out your chances of defending against your dismissal & subject your termination to our free and non-binding initial check.

What is the deadline to file a dismissal protection lawsuit?

The complaint against a termination can only be filed within a so-called preclusion period. This means that the validity of the termination cannot be contested after this period has expired. From the time of receipt of the termination by you, the lawsuit must be filed with the court within 3 weeks with reasons. Otherwise, the notice of termination is considered valid, regardless of whether the employer may have disregarded the legal requirements for termination. An extension of the deadline is rarely possible, and only if the delay in the lawsuit was not the fault of the employer.

What are the costs of a dismissal protection lawsuit?

Going to a lawyer can frighten many employees. Even an initial interview with a lawyer costs about 200 euros. Added to this are the costs for legal representation in court in the further proceedings as well as court costs. The lawyer's fees in dismissal protection proceedings are usually 60 percent of a gross monthly salary or more. Furthermore, there is the risk of losing the proceedings and having to pay the costs in addition to the termination of the employment relationship. However, with CONNY you can enforce your rights regardless of your budget. We take on your cost risk in exchange for a success-based commission from your severance payment.

Chance of defending against your dismissal?
Find out your chances of defending against your dismissal & subject your termination to our free and non-binding initial check.