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Germany: Employee fired for refusing to follow company rules… and wearing red pants

An employee in Germany, at a plant in North Rhine-Westphalia, was fired because of the color of his pants. Working since 2014, he followed a dress code for years until a few months ago when he decided to ditch his red trousers for black ones, according to German newspaper Der Spiegel.

In fact, the company imposed this color of trousers on all employees for reasons of harmony, but most of all, for safety reasons. An employee whose clothing tastes did not meet the company’s requirements was unlucky.

A winning deal for the company

After several warnings and calls to order, which had no effect on the employee’s behavior, he was sent a letter of resignation. Angered by the somewhat exceptional reason, he immediately sued for unfair dismissal. The case was then handed over to judges for examination.

Contrary to all expectations, it was not the employee who won the case… But the company, the German weekly Der Spiegel points out. The argument that won: the security argument.

In delivering the arbitration award on 21 May 2024, the Düsseldorf Regional Court explained that “the employer had the right to designate the color red for protective trousers at work.”. Indeed, since this assembly worker works in an environment where forklifts are constantly moving, the argument for bright red pants making workers more visible makes sense.

Source: Le Parisien

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