This is a followup from this question: My manager warned me about absences on short notice

I was adviced to open a new question.

I made a mistake in not telling my boss about an outpatient appointment until the morning of the appointment. I just forgot, probably due to the max dose gabapentin I've been taking daily.

I hope my boss gives me a second chance. However, including a senior employee in our daily meeting shows signs they may not be willing to give me a chance and things might be going south. I joined in February.

There might still be time for me to rectify the situation and win back my bosses' trust.

How can I prevent being unfairly fired and what to do about it if it happens?

  • Sorry to hear that have you made a record of your accomplishments to date and how you can snip this in your favour such as saying there was a lack of training or others who have made a similar mistakes
    – Sas121
    Commented Jul 9, 2023 at 21:39
  • Thanks. My CV shows my record. Just to check, is your answer about the reason to give future employers when they ask why I left?
    – Duzii2
    Commented Jul 9, 2023 at 21:46
  • 10
    Blaming a medication you take daily for you dropping the ball inherently implies that you are liable to drop the ball daily. Is that really what you want to convey?
    – Flater
    Commented Jul 17, 2023 at 5:52

4 Answers 4


Assuming that you have a six months probation period as normal in Germany, you cannot really do anything. They are allowed to terminate your contract for basically no reason. So if they decide to fire you, and say nothing about why, then you have zero options.

If they quote their three strikes system or reference your illness in any way, you will need a local lawyer to find out whether you have chances to sue. However, this being Germany, you will not get swift justice and if you get justice, the amount they owe you will be the amount you would have earned had you worked there, minus the money you actually made. So as an example, you get fired, you find a new job for the same pay after two months, so a year from now, when the queue of the court has sufficiently advanced to discuss your case, if found in favor, you will get two months pay. The two months that you lost out on while looking for a job. As soon as you had a new job with the same pay, you have incurred no damages and you get no payments from them.

Please note that, fair or not, obviously your next employer will be very reluctant to hire a candidate that sued their former employer after being let go in the probation period. And the judgement being about a year out, they have no idea what happened or who is right.

So your best bet is to be on your absolute best behaviour at least until your probation period is over. That might include lying to people, apologizing for things you think are correct, but they think are your mistake. Whether your integrity is worth your job is up to you.

The other route to go would be to go out for a job search immediately. If they are set on firing you, they will. The question just is, whether you could get some money out of them for doing so illegally. Find a company you like to work for, that treats their employees with more respect and that you can treat with more respect. As it's your only real option, you might as well start today. Take control over your life, don't wait to be the passive victim of something. That never feels good, whether it is legal or not.

If you sent out letters now, you also control the narrative. "I need a new job, the old one kicked me out during my probation period" has a very different story than "I saw it wasn't a good match and decided to look for another job. It seems my employer thought the same thing, they have since let me go."


First off, you should acknowledge for yourself, that nothing about being fired in your probation period is "unfair". You already got some warnings and still made the same mistake again. If you get fired, you didn't live up to their expectations for whatever reason and that's exactly what the probational period is for.

Since they are not required to give you any reason, unless they are stupid enough to give you any invalid/illegal reasoning, there is basically no grounds for taking legal action.

And from my experience: even if they fuck up and give you a reason to appeal in court, it's not worth it. Not only is there no damage to be claimed, because they still can fire you within your probational period (without giving a reason this time). But one speciality of German labor law is, that in a "Kündigungsschutzklage" each party will pay their own lawyer costs, no matter what outcome.

So in the case you win, they keep you for another month, fire you after this, while you are still on probation, and you pay like 50-75% of a monthly salary to the lawyer.


The first step to recovering your manager's opinion of you is to have a serious thought about what part of the problem is your responsibility. Identify what things you should you not have done or could have done better. From that list put together concrete steps about how to improve.

Once you have those steps, have a meeting with your manager and explain how you will do a better job. If you get the second chance, set a timeline for improving and stick to that timeline.

This still may not save your job, but if not, the introspection time may help you with your next job.


I just forgot, probably due to the max dose gabapentin I've been taking daily.

Get a note from your medical practitioner stating this.

  • 3
    What doctor can attest that he forgot to perform a company policy due to taking a medication? It sounds more like an excuse to me.
    – rhoonah
    Commented Jul 20, 2023 at 1:38
  • 1
    @rhoonah a doctor can certainly attest as to the known side effects of a given drug Commented Jul 20, 2023 at 6:03
  • 2
    @Philp Kendall that is correct but like I said, how can he say for sure that he couldn't follow the policy due to the drug? This kid simply sounds irresponsible to me.
    – rhoonah
    Commented Jul 21, 2023 at 3:39

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