Falsified certificate: Employee sentenced to repayment of fraudulent wages
The commercial law firm SNP Schlawien successfully brought an action before the Labour Court on behalf of its client against a nursing supervisor who had falsified her examination certificates. She had to pay back her wages for the last three years in the amount of 147,000 euros to the employer.
The employee was employed by an inpatient nursing service, first as a registered nurse and then as a nursing service manager within the meaning of § 71 SGB XI. With her application, she had submitted a forged certificate of participation in the course Responsible Caregiver for Outpatient and (Partial) Inpatient Care. When asked, the training provider confirmed that the course had not taken place in 2010. In the course of the trial, spelling mistakes and a comparison of the handwriting with older copies proved that the nurse's certificate was also forged.
The Labour Court followed SNP Schlawien's argumentation that the employment contract was void from the beginning due to a violation of legal provisions. It applied the principles established by the Federal Labour Court for the rescission of an employment contract with a doctor without a licence to practise (see BAG 03.11.2004 - 5 AZR 592/03): Anyone who used the professional title of nurse without a licence was acting in breach of the law. Based on this, the legal system disapproved of the activity as a responsible nurse, which was punishable by a fine, in order to prevent improper treatment of patients in the interest of life and health.
Since the employee's work had been performed illegally for years, there could be no de facto employment relationship. Therefore, the employee could not impute the alleged value of her work performance. The court held her guilty of a deliberate violation of the law and ordered her to repay her wages (ArbG Stuttgart judgment of 24 August 2021, 23 Ca 8812/20).
Advisors SNP Schlawien, Düsseldorf:
Christian Lentföhr (Labour Law)
Certified labor law attorney
Tel: +49 211 537 5373-0