I work minijob in germany as a receptionist in a hotel and my employer found a mistake that was made when another employee was working. She called me and said I need to be held equally responsible for this mistake because I need to check the work of that employee even though I’m just a receptionist and not a manager there so she will withhold half the money that was lost during the other employee’s shift from my salary as a minijob. I quit then and there but can I sue her?

  • 2
    You need professional advice on German employment law.
    – Solar Mike
    Feb 2 at 9:57
  • 1
    In this case an employment lawyer will love to rip someone in that company a new one.
    – gnasher729
    Feb 3 at 14:32

2 Answers 2



They are not allowed to withhold money. That would be illegal and I would suggest you get a lawyer to make sure you get your money. Most of the time, a letterhead to prove you mean business is all it takes.

Your employer can only withhold pay, if you acted "absichtlich oder grob fahrlässig" (intentional or with gross negligence).

An employer certainly cannot withhold pay on actions of another, unless you were an accomplice in their intentional or grossly negligent act.

Making mistakes normal for your job is neither. You cannot be docked pay in Germany for doing a bad job. You can be reprimanded, get written warnings and/or eventually be fired, but all of it at full pay until your very last day.

  • 2
    Semantically the answer is wrong. Of course they CAN withhold money. They already did. I think you are trying to say it's illegal for them to withhold the money. But what the law says and what actually happens are two very different things. I vaguely remember a German saying "recht haben ist nicht recht bekommen". The real question here: what is a practical way for the OP to proceed.
    – Hilmar
    Feb 2 at 13:13
  • 5
    @Hilmar I get the "can they" vs "are they allowed" argument, but I think we both know how the OP meant it, and I answered in the same way. I'm not "trying" to said it's illegal, I do. It's the first line of text actually. The same first line that says "get a lawyer" as the practical way.
    – nvoigt
    Feb 2 at 13:25
  • There are exceptions to that - but they often come by law with tax free risk funds per month. I.e. it was normal when I was working the job long time ago in germany for cashiers (which got some money every month as risk offset) to be responsible for the correctness of their cash. Exceptions would be outside forces (robbery), but if something went missing - the cashier paid it.
    – TomTom
    Feb 2 at 21:12

I quit then and there but can I sue her?

You can sue the company. You cannot sue her.

Talk to your lawyer to see if you have any chance to win.


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