Termination because of threats against a supervisor

If an employee credibly announces to a colleague that he intends to throw his superior out of the window and that he is about to go on a rampage, this can justify summary dismissal.

The plaintiff had been employed in the accounting department of the defendant city for over 13 years. After an argument with his supervisor, the plaintiff said to his colleague: "I'm going to throw this little runt out of the window. I'm not going to put up with this any longer. I'm about to go on a rampage. I'm telling you, something will happen soon. He lives dangerously, very dangerously." On 28.12.2020, the plaintiff received a termination without notice and, in the alternative, with notice as of 30.06.2021. He filed an action for protection against dismissal against this.

In its decision of 4 November 2021, the Siegburg Labour Court dismissed the action. After hearing the colleague as a witness, it considered the termination without notice to be justified. According to the court, the important reason for the dismissal was that the plaintiff had made statements to his colleague in a serious manner, which included both the announcement of a danger to the life and limb of the superior and the announcement of a rampage. The court was convinced that the plaintiff had meant the threat absolutely seriously. In this case, a prior warning was unnecessary. The employer could not be expected to continue employing the plaintiff until the end of the ordinary notice period.

The decision is not yet final. An appeal against the decision can be lodged with the Cologne Regional Labour Court.

Source: Press release of the Siegburg Labour Court dated 11.01.2022