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February 16 2015

No Automatic Presumption of Good Assessments in Employment References in Germany

"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."