Tue, Jan. 11, 2005

Performance Evaluation

CK - Washington.   Cheat and lie--that has long been the expectation of employers and employees in Germany under the rules for performance evaluations of departing employees. Whether fired or leaving voluntarily, an employee has a justiciable right to receive a written performance evaluation, Arbeitszeugnis, from the employer. Newer decisions entitle employees to have the employer correct an evaluation. There are earnest disputes--and case law--about whether an employer is required to state, grammatically incorrectly, his fullest satisfaction, or merely and more accurately his full satisfaction, with the employee.

The handakte blog has a few recent links to current developments and suggestions for fine-tuning an evaluation under German employment law. The janolaw web site offers such documents for purchase and download.

The bottom line with German employment evaluations is that the reader needs to take them with a clump of salt. Key words need to be deciphered and learned in order to understand the signals that have passed muster with the courts and can alert, in language covered with chocolate and whipped cream, to losers. Unfortunately, the artful deception makes it difficult for the outstanding employee to be recognized.

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