Supporting People who Speak Out

Germany – Whistleblower Protection

Germany – Whistleblower Protection

Without a legal framework, Germany lacks specific institutions and mechanisms to receive and investigate disclosures, and to grant whistleblowers any kind of security. Neither is whistleblowing defined in German law. Whistleblowers may be protected by certain provisions of the Employment Protection Act, which makes unfair dismissal on the grounds of “social injustice” illegal and punishable. In practice, however, labor courts frequently have ruled against whistleblowers, citing employees’ duties of loyalty and secrecy towards their employer.
BriefingInformation
Germany does not have a designated whistleblower protection law in place. Whistleblowers such as geriatric nurse Brigitte Heinisch, who successfully appealed her unfair dismissal case to the European Court of Human Rights, have fueled political debate on the issue. The government, however, has rejected several proposed whistleblower laws in recent years. As of now, only public employees who report corruption under very narrow circumstances are legally protected from retaliation. In other cases, whistleblowers must seek protections and remedies from the courts, which have been prone to hold employees’ duty of loyalty above their free speech rights.[…]
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Deutschland hat kein ausgewiesenes Whistleblower-Gesetz. Whistleblowerfälle wie der von Altenpflegerin Brigitte Heinisch, die ihre Klage gegen ihre unrechtmäßige Kündigung bis vor den Europäischen Gerichtshof für Menschenrecht trug, haben entsprechende politische Debatten angefacht. Trotzdem hat Deutschlands politische Führung in den vergangenen Jahren mehrere Gesetzesentwürfe abgelehnt. Zurzeit sind ausschließlich Regierungsangestellte, die Vorfälle von Korruption melden, unter sehr engen Umständen vor Vergeltungsmaßnahmen geschützt. In anderen Fällen müssen Whistleblower Schutz und Entschädigung bei den Gerichten suchen. Diese sahen in der Vergangenheit jedoch oft die Loyalitätspflicht eines Angestellten über dessen Recht auf freie Meinungsäußerung.[…]
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