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Old 12.01.2012, 15:28
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My ex employer is denying me the "Arbeitszeugnis"

Hello everyone,

This is my first post here and I'm looking for some suggestions and advice.

Recently I quit my job and now it's been a month since I've taken over a new job in Zurich. It's been a month and I have still not recieved my "arbeitszeugnis" from my former emplyer despite repeated calls, emails and reminders.

The response I got is that I broke the contract and hence I will not get the recommendation or an arbeitszeugnis. The Employer has been extremely unprofessional and I did write some emails that talk about the employer's behaviour dealing with the entire process. My emails, though "hateful" but have been professional.

The last email I got said that they will send my email to "kellerhals and Partner" to get legal. I have a list of all the emails where the employer has been extremely rude and unprofessional.

I need to know, how serious is this and what options do I get the arbeitszeugnis.

Looking forward to your response.
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Old 12.01.2012, 15:34
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Re: My ex employer is denying me the "Arbeitszeugnis"

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Hello everyone,

This is my first post here and I'm looking for some suggestions and advice.

Recently I quit my job and now it's been a month since I've taken over a new job in Zurich. It's been a month and I have still not recieved my "arbeitszeugnis" from my former emplyer despite repeated calls, emails and reminders.

The response I got is that I broke the contract and hence I will not get the recommendation or an arbeitszeugnis. The Employer has been extremely unprofessional and I did write some emails that talk about the employer's behaviour dealing with the entire process. My emails, though "hateful" but have been professional.

The last email I got said that they will send my email to "kellerhals and Partner" to get legal. I have a list of all the emails where the employer has been extremely rude and unprofessional.

I need to know, how serious is this and what options do I get the arbeitszeugnis.

Looking forward to your response.

Your former employer is required by law to provide you with an
Arbeitszeugnis. You have up to 10 years to claim the Zeugnis.

What you should do first is write a certified letter ( Einschreibebrief in German ) requesting that they write you a proper Arbeitszeugnis.

Write the letter polite but firm. If you don't get a response, write
another certified letter threatening legal action.

Do you have legal insurance?
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Old 12.01.2012, 15:36
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Re: My ex employer is denying me the "Arbeitszeugnis"

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.....I broke the contract and hence I will not get the recommendation or an arbeitszeugnis. The Employer has been extremely unprofessional....
And therein lies your problem.

Looking at older threads they should provide it within a reasonable period of time.

However looks like they are p1ssed off so it may not be worth the paper it will be written on.
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Old 12.01.2012, 15:40
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Re: My ex employer is denying me the "Arbeitszeugnis"

Hello and welcome to the Forum.

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... I've taken over a new job in Zurich.
If your current employer is understanding, let the matter go. You have a job and the focus ought to be developing a happier relationship with them. Good luck.
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Old 12.01.2012, 15:42
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Re: My ex employer is denying me the "Arbeitszeugnis"

I have indeed sent "eingeschrieben" letter asking for the arbeitszeugnis. Post that I also threatened them to go legal. And they said that they will forward my emails to the Lawyer as well.

As far as breaking the contract is concerned, it's according to section 337d of the Swiss Civil Law. Where it's "fritzlos" meaning I can leave the institute without any prior notice, they however reserve the right to deduct 25% of my previous month's salary.. and they have done that, too.

Even after doing all that they can dom, when I still didn't recieve ma arbeitszeugnis, I arote a "hateful" email to the employer and now I gues sthe matter has gotten worse, hasn't it?
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Old 12.01.2012, 15:44
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Re: My ex employer is denying me the "Arbeitszeugnis"

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Hello and welcome to the Forum.



If your current employer is understanding, let the matter go. You have a job and the focus ought to be developing a happier relationship with them. Good luck.
Hi Thanks... I'm overwhelmed with the response. The Arbeitszeugnis is not of much value now, what I fear is that they threatened that they will forward meemail to the lawyer.
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Old 12.01.2012, 15:45
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Re: My ex employer is denying me the "Arbeitszeugnis"

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And therein lies your problem.

Looking at older threads they should provide it within a reasonable period of time.

However looks like they are p1ssed off so it may not be worth the paper it will be written on.
The employer is not allowed to write a bad Zeugnis. The question
is whether it is worth a legal fight.....

If you are planning on being in Switzerland long-term, it is worth
getting a good one.
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Old 12.01.2012, 15:47
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Re: My ex employer is denying me the "Arbeitszeugnis"

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Hello and welcome to the Forum.



If your current employer is understanding, let the matter go. You have a job and the focus ought to be developing a happier relationship with them. Good luck.
My current employer is extremely understanding... you are right...

As long as now the former employer doesn't get so pissed of my last email that they go legal against me...
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Old 12.01.2012, 15:48
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Re: My ex employer is denying me the "Arbeitszeugnis"

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Hi Thanks... I'm overwhelmed with the response. The Arbeitszeugnis is not of much value now, what I fear is that they threatened that they will forward meemail to the lawyer.

So what if they forward your mail to the attorney...

What can he do....take your birthday away?

I am not sure whether it is worth it to pursue legal options
since you broke the contract.

Are your intentions to stay here long-term?
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Old 12.01.2012, 15:48
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Re: My ex employer is denying me the "Arbeitszeugnis"

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The employer is not allowed to write a bad Zeugnis. The question
is whether it is worth a legal fight.....

If you are planning on being in Switzerland long-term, it is worth
getting a good one.

Thanks for your response, appreciated.
I do plan to be here for a long time... and as long as it's a legal right of evey employee to get a certificate, I thought it'll be nice to get one, you never know what you need in the future...
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Old 12.01.2012, 15:51
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Re: My ex employer is denying me the "Arbeitszeugnis"

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So what if they forward your mail to the attorney...

What can he do....take your birthday away?

I am not sure whether it is worth it to pursue legal options
since you broke the contract.

Are your intentions to stay here long-term?
Yeah, I do intend to stay long term, now that I have a permanent job. The one before was a part time job.
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Old 12.01.2012, 15:54
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Re: My ex employer is denying me the "Arbeitszeugnis"

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As far as breaking the contract is concerned, it's according to section 337d of the Swiss Civil Law. Where it's "fritzlos" meaning I can leave the institute without any prior notice
To be honest, it may be according to the law, but it's hardly professional, is it?
I'm not surprised they are being awkward.

You may end up getting an Arbeitszeugnis off them, but for sure it's not going to be more than the bare minimum.

Good luck with it.

addendum: Part time? sounds like maybe they are over reacting then....
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Old 12.01.2012, 16:03
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Re: My ex employer is denying me the "Arbeitszeugnis"

No Arbeitszeugnis might be better than a bad one, I think it will be an easy task to explain the lack of it when asked because you switched jobs without prior notice.
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Old 12.01.2012, 16:17
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Re: My ex employer is denying me the "Arbeitszeugnis"

Yes you are entitled to an accurate written reference. Yes he has to provide it within a reasonable time. Yes you MUST get one, otherwise future employers will be suspicious of the gap in your employment, even perhaps suspecting you were in prison.

Step one, write to them "Eingeschrieben" - you have √ done that

Step two, copy all the correspondence, with the Post Receipt for the Eingeschrieben letters, file in a chronological order

Step three, go to the Arbeitsgericht in Zurich http://www.gerichte-zh.ch/organisati...tsgericht.html

Step four, take file with you, ask for their advice. It's FREE (yes some things are free here!) They will need to study the file.

Step five, start the legal process, ask for a Court hearing. It's FREE !

Step six, go to the Court hearing with a friend whom can witness your work, maybe you need a translator? There will be a judge and the clerk of the court, plus your opponent. Explain that the work situation became untenable, you had the right to give a "Fristlos Kundigung", and you have the right to a correct and truthful reference.

Step seven, receive the reference from ex employer. If it is not complete & truthful, go back to Court. It should state the length of work, the type & the quality of work. It helps also to name your supervisor in writing, and the fact that you resigned without giving notice.

All the Court actions will be free of charge to you. You might have to pay for a translator - Ask them for one, or take a friend with you.
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Old 12.01.2012, 16:21
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Re: My ex employer is denying me the "Arbeitszeugnis"

If you've walked out of your contract and not given usual notice, even if you get an "Arbeitszeugnis" it will not be flattering. Better to opt for a mere "Arbeitsbestätigung", which confirms that you worked their from date x to date y.

https://www.ag.ch/personalfuehrung-v...staetigung.pdf

Write one up, send it by email to them and ask them to print it out, sign and return it. Once you have that in your pocket you can still decide whether you want to go through all the hassle of getting what will most likely be a mediocre Arbeitszeugnis.
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Old 12.01.2012, 16:21
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Re: My ex employer is denying me the "Arbeitszeugnis"

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Yes you are entitled to an accurate written reference. Yes he has to provide it within a reasonable time. Yes you MUST get one, otherwise future employers will be suspicious of the gap in your employment, even perhaps suspecting you were in prison.

Step one, write to them "Eingeschrieben" - you have √ done that

Step two, copy all the correspondence, with the Post Receipt for the Eingeschrieben letters, file in a chronological order

Step three, go to the Arbeitsgericht in Zurich http://www.gerichte-zh.ch/organisati...tsgericht.html

Step four, take file with you, ask for their advice. It's FREE (yes some things are free here!) They will need to study the file.

Step five, start the legal process, ask for a Court hearing. It's FREE !

Step six, go to the Court hearing with a friend whom can witness your work, maybe you need a translator? There will be a judge and the clerk of the court, plus your opponent. Explain that the work situation became untenable, you had the right to give a "Fristlos Kundigung", and you have the right to a correct and truthful reference.

Step seven, receive the reference from ex employer. If it is not truthful, go back to Court.

All the Court actions will be free of charge to you. You might have to pay for a translator - Ask them for one, or take a friend with you.
The court will pay for a translator.
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Old 12.01.2012, 16:24
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Re: My ex employer is denying me the "Arbeitszeugnis"

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If you've walked out of your contract and not given usual notice, even if you get an "Arbeitszeugnis" it will not be flattering. Better to opt for a mere "Arbeitsbestätigung", which confirms that you worked their from date x to date y.

https://www.ag.ch/personalfuehrung-v...staetigung.pdf

Write one up, send it by email to them and ask them to print it out, sign and return it. Once you have that in your pocket you can still decide whether you want to go through all the hassle of getting what will most likely be a mediocre Arbeitszeugnis.
If you show someone an Arbeitsbestätigung, the potential employer
will automatically know that something bad happened.

I would highly recommend against this!!
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Old 12.01.2012, 16:34
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Re: My ex employer is denying me the "Arbeitszeugnis"

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I would highly recommend against this!!
If the alternative is an unfavorable Arbeitszeugnis (and contrary to prevailing opinion on this forum, your employer can write negative things about you if they are truthful and if the conduct of the employee could potentially harm the future employer) or no Arbeitszeugnis at all, I'd go for the Arbeitsbestätigung. You may not want to use it when job hunting but it is better than nothing when dealing with authorities, etc.
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Old 12.01.2012, 16:58
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Re: My ex employer is denying me the "Arbeitszeugnis"

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If the alternative is an unfavorable Arbeitszeugnis (and contrary to prevailing opinion on this forum, your employer can write negative things about you if they are truthful and if the conduct of the employee could potentially harm the future employer) or no Arbeitszeugnis at all, I'd go for the Arbeitsbestätigung. You may not want to use it when job hunting but it is better than nothing when dealing with authorities, etc.
Very true so. Finally somebody mentions that an Arbeitszeugnis has to be above all truthfull and that it has to cover grave negativ aspects too.
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Old 12.01.2012, 17:20
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Re: My ex employer is denying me the "Arbeitszeugnis"

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If you show someone an Arbeitsbestätigung, the potential employer
will automatically know that something bad happened.

I would highly recommend against this!!
I did project work for one of the banks here, and only got an "Arbeitsbestätigung", and not a Zeugnis. When I received it, I had registered with RAV, and asked my RAV contact about it. He said, that for short term work (in my case 7 months), an Arbeitsbestätigung like the one i had was perfectly fine, and that for the time i was there, a Zeugnis could have reservations, which would not be to my advantage. He also pointed out, they had been much more detailed, than they should be, so while I was disappointed, he thought it was great.

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