Must Extraordinary Notice Come on Time

How long can an employer wait until he terminates an employment without prior notice? Is there a period at all? The LAG Rhineland-Pfalz answered this question on April 17, 2009 (re 6 Sa 709/08) in its judgment.


An employer fired his secretary without prior notice with the reasoning that she forwarded customer details to a former manager without permission. But the secretary received notice two weeks and one day after the act was known.

§626 II 1 BGB provides that extraordinary notices must be received within two weeks. This period starts when the person entitled to give notice first gains knowledge of the relevant details for giving notice. (Gross negligence or not) having no knowledge of this period has no influence on the statutory period. You might have to inform the opposing side, that (s)he is giving you grounds for termination but when you know then you must react quickly.

Otherwise the notice will become invalid. Understand this as a "take it or leave it" period. It is absolutely irrelevant how justified the termination may be: too late is too late.

Whoever finds it necessary to terminate someone immediately for cause, must do this within two weeks of their first learning of the grounds for dismissal. If the termination is sent too late or the employer calculates the dates wrong, the termination is invalid, period.


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