The Bavarian Higher Administrative Court recently addressed the issue whether a pregnant employee can be dismissed without notice after having posted a critical statement about a client of the employer. The plaintiff was employed by a security agency in the reception area of a phone company. She had a private phone contract with that company and uttered negatively about this provider via facebook.

The Court held that the statement did not constitute a "special case" which is required by law to justify a dismissal of pregnant employees. It needs to be taken into account that the comment referred to the employee's private contract relationship to the phone company and was still covered by the right of freedom of expression, since it did not constitute abusive criticism. Furthermore it needs to be considered that the comment was posted in a private conversation with the employee's internet-friends.

The lesson? If a pregnant employee utters negatively about an important client of the employer via a private social media account, such statement could only justify a dismissal if it constitutes abusive criticism.

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