Where an HR manager (here the Head of HR and organization of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance and Physicians (KBV) sets the remuneration of a close relative too high without giving prior attention to the potential conflict of interest, this may justify termination without notice even without prior written warning, the Labour Court Berlin (Arbeitsgericht Berlin, ArbG Berlin) decided on 2 February 2016 (docket no. 16 Ca 10908/15 and 16 Ca 932/16).
The plaintiff, the Head of HR of the KBV, was terminated without notice after setting the remuneration/pension of her husband, who was chairman of the KBV, too high without giving prior attention to the potential conflict of interest. The setting of remuneration/pensions was part of her duties. She brought legal proceedings against the termination and claimed compensation from the defendant, the KBV, for giving internal information to the media and thereby damaging her reputation.
The Labour Court Berlin held that termination without notice or prior written warning was justified because the actions of the plaintiff were a material breach of her duties of employment. The plaintiff acted with the intention to give her husband a financial advantage in excess of her powers. This was highly disloyal towards the employer.
Furthermore, the Labour Court Berlin declined the claim for compensation due to lack of attributable action by the employer.