The German federal labor court has ruled that it can be appropriate to infer that an employee has been discriminated against if their employer gives false or contradictory information about the reasons for treating the employee as they did.

The claimant, who was born in Turkey, complained of race discrimination when her fixed term employment contract was not extended; a comparable employee of German origin had been offered an indefinite employment relationship by the employer. The employer said it had based its decision on deficiencies in the claimant's performance. However, this was contradicted by a positive reference given by the employer, which said the claimant had carried out her work to the employer's utmost satisfaction.

The federal labor court ruled that an evidently false or contradictory reason for action given by an employer could be taken as an indication of discrimination. The case has now been referred to the regional labor court (LAG) of Cologne to decide whether the claimant should be awarded damages.