I applied for a managerial position, to which the job posting had been displayed online officially by the hotel company. I interviewed with the GM of the hotel and was offered a job right away, we discussed salary and she wanted me to send all the related documents as soon as possible so I could join the team.
I provided all the required documents to the hotel over email in a timely manner and had only positive feedback from the hotel. This week I was supposed to sign my official written contract which was to be prepared as all my documents had been sent – health insurance, tax documents, certificates, references, residence papers, police reports, health checks etc.
The GM referred me to another person in charge since she was absent. I contacted this person and this person advice me to come in for a meeting and finalized the contract. Once I came in to the meeting I got re-interviewed and my German language skills were tested by another person brought especially only to test my skills of the German language. (This was not a requirement for the position and my language skills were not posed as an issue when offered the job initially by the GM).
This all came as a big surprise for me since I thought I was coming to sign the contract and starting my position the following week. The person not only questioned my language skills but told me that the position was really a supervisor position, not a manager position. She told me she would need to re-consult the GM to clarify and get back to me.
Tomorrow is my official start day at work and I have been requested to come in for a 3 pm meeting to clarify and discuss my situation - it seems like the GM is still absent and has left all the decision making to the other person. For me there is nothing to clarify since I was hired for a manager position and I am supposed to start tomorrow. I have the feeling that they either want to try to take back their job offer or try to push me down to a lower position with less salary/benefits based on my language skills.
What can I do to defend myself, what does that German labour law say about Verbal contract with email correspondence support? Is this strong enough to claim my right to employment with the hotel even though I do not have a written contract to support. Also, is there any discrimination laws applying to my case since there is no other basis that they can claim to change my level from managerial to supervisor other than the stated problem of my language skills? I have all the required experience and I have provided them with ALL the documents and other conditions they required.
Most of the correspondence I have over email and can prove – only some over phone.
In addition to this I have lost almost 1 month time worth to which I could have found other employment. I have also missed opportunities for other hotels since I accepted this offer.
Please let me know what I can do to defend myself during tomorrows meeting.