I am currently working in the IT industry holding a blue card and after one and a half year, I received a promotion, which also included a salary raise.

I got to know about this promotion via e-mail in January.

January and February paychecks reflected already the new salary base, however, in March they decided I would need to sign an appendix to my contract in order to validate my promotion.

I did not accept the new job description, as they were mandating me to perform tasks way outside my scope of work.

In the March paycheck, I saw they rolled back my salary retroactively. Hence, I received a very low income, as both January and February gains were discounted in the March paycheck.

I am wondering is this is valid or against the laws? Also, did anyone already face a similar situation?

  • 4
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is more suited for workplace.stackexchange.com
    – Dipen Shah
    Commented Apr 28, 2017 at 13:16
  • @DipenShah but this is a question that is specifically related to expatriation. There's plenty of overlap in the Stack Exchange network, and the fact that a question might be better suited to one site (or even already asked and answered on that site) does not make it off topic for another site.
    – phoog
    Commented Apr 28, 2017 at 18:03
  • @phoog Sorry I fail to see how. The only line related to being an expat is I am currently working in the IT industry holding a blue card which is not relative to the question as this is a problem even a German citizen might face. So how is this related anyway to being an expat?
    – Dipen Shah
    Commented Apr 28, 2017 at 19:04
  • @DipenShah sorry, you are right. I was confusing this question with another one.
    – phoog
    Commented Apr 28, 2017 at 19:11

1 Answer 1


Generally speaking, a promotion and a salary increase are extensions to your contract that must be accepted by both parties in writing. This is no big deal normally, both sign the extra page, the employee walks out of the office happy.

As you did not agree, there was no promotion and no salary increase. Legally, it's not rolled back, because legally, you never had it in the first place, because you did not sign it. The company will argue that the salary in excess of your normal salary was transferred in error (under the assumption you would sign the paperwork) and that transferring less than normal salary once corrected that error.

You will need the help of a lawyer to find out if that was legal. But as you are the one who declined the promotion that was the reason for the salary increase, I guess you would need to argue that formal errors have been made in the process to keep the money paid in error. This is certainly not a constructive move and will be seen as very negative by the company.

Courts in Germany are very sympathetic to the worker vs a company, but in this case, it was your decision to decline what was offered, so I don't think your chances are good to get anything you did not work for in the first place. You will have a case when you actually did that higher paid job for the two months. If that is the case, definitely get a lawyer.

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