Good news for all employers: The German Federal Labour Court has recently reversed the disastrous judgment of the Regional Labour Court of Berlin-Brandenburg concerning the allocation of the burden of proof with regard to assessments in employment references.
In Germany, upon termination of the employment relationship employees can claim for a written employment reference that contains information about the nature and duration of their employment as well as about their performance and behavior. Normally, the overall assessment of the employee´s performance is made by using a common “school-grade system” (very good resp. A – good resp. B – satisfactory resp. C – adequate resp. D – inadequate resp. E).
The overriding principle that employers have to take into account when creating an employment reference is the principle of truthfulness.