Impending termination: things can get tight for underperformers

If employees do not exhaust their personal range of services, employers can take action.

Impending termination: things can get tight for underperformers

If employees do not exhaust their personal range of services, employers can take action. With so-called low performers, termination is only possible in individual cases.

If an employee demonstrably performs less than others over a longer period of time, this can justify dismissal in individual cases. This is shown by a judgment by the Regional Labor Court (LG) Cologne (Az.: 4 Sa 548/21), to which Haufe.de refers.

The specific case concerned the termination of an order picker in a wholesale warehouse in the field of food logistics. The employer's company agreement defines a basic service for order pickers, which corresponds to the normal service and is remunerated with the basic wage. Since switching to the dry goods department, the employee has not achieved the basic performance of 100 percent in any month. After two warnings, the employer properly terminated him.

The employee contested this dismissal in court. The employer presented the employee's below-average performance in court by presenting records from the merchandise management system. According to Haufe.de, these documented the picking performance of the employee in comparison to the performance of around 150 other pickers.

According to the court, the employer was able to demonstrate that the plaintiff had underperformed the average performance of comparable employees by well over a third over a longer period of time. The judges therefore considered the dismissal to be justified.

According to the judgment, it is up to the employee to dispute the figures and their informative value in detail or to explain why he is still exploiting his personal performance with his clearly below-average performance.

According to the report, the general statement by the employee that he had been systematically disadvantaged did not convince the court.

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