I was working almost 20 years in the same company as a software developer.

I've got two Abmahnungen (warnings) within last month and I am planning to leave the company. I will probably get a compensation offer (Aufhebungsvertrag).

What offer should I expect and accept?

I need guidance on what to do, specifically to Germany. To example, I've read about warnings, will they anyhow influence my further carrier? I could try to make formal complaint for the second warning, because it's completely absurd. Should I? What about the first one?

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    Maybe that's the norm in Germany, but 20 years at one company as a software developer? Wow. – Matthew Gaiser Nov 23 '19 at 15:47
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    At this point you have nothing to loose. I would fight the Abmahnung since it's going to significantly weaken any negotiation positions. With two in one months they may be able to fire you without you getting anything. See focus.de/finanzen/karriere/arbeitsrecht/tid-17759/… for options and consider talking to a local lawyer. – Hilmar Nov 23 '19 at 16:08
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    @Hilmar, thanks for a link (I didn't know all that!) and for a hint. I am going to talk to a lawyer. – Sinatr Nov 23 '19 at 17:10
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    Accept one month's salary for every year you were employed at that company. 2 Abmahnungen in a single month may be a sign they want to get rid of you. Aufhebungsvertrag means, you took responsibility in loosing your job. The Arbeitsamt may therefore not pay you in the first three months of unemployment and reduce the time you get money from twelve to nine months. – Bernhard Döbler Nov 23 '19 at 18:13
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    @BernhardDöbler, thanks for info, 20 payed months sounds very good to me. I don't plan to stay unemployed, already updated CV and stuff. – Sinatr Nov 23 '19 at 20:04

There are multiple distinct issues in your question, but I think the whole situation is worth adressing as one.

It seems like you are clearly being managed out. For context, in germany, it is not easy to fire an employee, and it is significantly harder to fire an employee with long tenure and no obvious brazen behavioral misgivings.

Thus managers often turn to issuing formal warnings for minor events or issues, in order to build a case to let someone go. This is often done to get rid of a long term employee, who is usually protected from most other reasons for firing them (for example, in the event of downsizing, the company generally has to give priority to people by tenure and other extenuating circumstances. If they justify that they need to shrink developer headcount, then they couldn't freely choose who to let go).

So it seems like you should be planning your exit from the company. Be aware that agreeing to resign in exchange for increased severance means you will most likely not recieve unemployment pay, which might factor into what you want to do.

To example, I've read about warnings, will they anyhow influence my further carrier?

Warnings don't carry forward, and usually companies will scrupulously try to avoid mentioning negative aspects, even in a coded way in the qualitative reference letter, because using that to in any way sabotage your employee moving on is a good way to get sued in germany.

You can try and fight a complaint to get it stricken or invalidated, as far as I know, primarily at court. It doesn't seem worth it in your case, unless they go for the truly unethical move, which would be to try and let you go without any severance for cause, in which case I'd definitely fight it.

If a workplace has made up their mind that they no longer want you, then fighting in court will not change their mind. It's likely not going to be a fun or stress free place to work going forward after such an altercation. Following that, I'd only try and fight anything if they try to short you on your due severance.

  • Sounds a lot like large companies in the US. Though there aren't really laws protecting tenure, there are anti-discrimination laws that are easily circumvented. So long as management says the standard words, they become fairly free to do what they want. – John Spiegel Nov 25 '19 at 15:51

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