LAG Köln: Arbeitgeber darf Betriebsratstätigkeit bei Freistellung im Zeugnis erwähnen

by McDermott Will & Emery

Obschon nicht neu, wird derzeit ein Urteil des LAG Köln dieskutiert.  Dieses hatte am 6. Dezember 2012 entschieden, dass in einem qualifizierten Zeugnis für ein freigestelltes Betriebsratsmitglied die Tätigkeit als Betriebsrat erwähnt werden darf (Aktenzeichen: 7 Sa 583/12).

Der Kläger war bei der Beklagten insgesamt zwölf Jahre als Qualitätsmanager beschäftigt. Während der letzten fünf Jahre seiner Beschäftigung war er zur Wahrnehmung von Betriebsratsaufgaben vollständig von der Arbeit freigestellt. Nach Kündigung durch den Arbeitgeber erhielt der Kläger ein qualifiziertes Arbeitszeugnis, in dem auch seine Freistellung erwähnt wurde. Er verlangte daraufhin die Ausstellung eines Zeugnisses ohne Angabe der fünfjährigen Betriebsratstätigkeit, was die Beklagte ablehnte. Der Kläger machte geltend, die Erwähnung der Betriebsratstätigkeit sei nachteilig für ihn. Sowohl das Arbeitsgericht als auch das LAG wiesen die Klage in Bezug auf die begehrte Streichung der Angaben zur Freistellung ab.

Das LAG entschied: Der Arbeitgeber darf, ja muss sogar die Betriebsratstätigkeit im Zeugnis erwähnen, wenn es sich um ein freigestelltes Betriebsratsmitglied handelt. Es verhalte sich so, wie beim Ruhen eines Arbeitsverhältnisses aufgrund von Elternzeit. Die müsse auch erwähnt werden, wie bereits durch das BAG entschieden sei.

Ein qualifiziertes Arbeitszeugnis diene dazu, ein möglichst umfassendes Bild der Leistungen eines Arbeitnehmers darzustellen. Aussagen über Leistung und Führung in Erfüllung der arbeitsvertraglichen Pflichten sind aber nicht möglich, solange diese arbeitsvertraglichen Primärpflichten aufgrund der Freistellung suspendiert sind. War der Mitarbeiter wegen seiner Betriebsratstätigkeit vollständig von der Arbeit freigestellt, führe das ersatzlose Verschweigen des Freistellungszeitraums entweder zu einem dem Grundsatz der Zeugniswahrheit widersprechenden verfälschenden Eindruck bei dem neutralen Zeugnisleser als Adressat – oder es entstehe eine bedenkliche, auch für den Arbeitnehmer selbst nachteilige Darstellungslücke.

Anders verhalte es sich nach dem LAG Köln bei Betriebsräten, die nicht freigestellt sind. Diese üben ein Ehrenamt aus und gehen ansonsten ihrer arbeitsvertraglich geschuldeten Tätigkeit nach. Dieses Ehrenamt darf im Zeugnis nur erwähnt werden, wenn der Arbeitnehmer es ausdrücklich wünscht.



DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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