Causa Teichtmeister – no dereliction of duty by the castle according to the report

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In the Teichtmeister case, the Burgtheater and the Bundestheater-Holding acted correctly according to the expert opinion. The research was commissioned by State Secretary for Art and Culture Andrea Mayer (Greens) and was published on Monday. The leadership was not guilty of any dereliction of duty in tackling the matter – but it also notes that “further steps could have been taken”.

Employment law expert Sieglinde Gahleitner also concluded that “there were opportunities for optimizing documentation and support that should be used in the future”. The expert opinion underlines that at the time when the rumors about an actor, who was not named at the time, emerged, the Burgtheater “received legal advice from two independent law firms and received the same legal advice that rumors or suspicions alone do not lead to. authorize the taking of legal action”.

According to a criminal expert, the Burgtheater has not had the opportunity to view the files. However, as the report suggests, it is important to examine the need for legislative changes, both with regard to the “right to suitable work” and the reporting obligations of the authorities.

Little room for maneuver in employment law steps
Furthermore, the management of the Burgtheater had “taken the necessary steps to gain insight into the allegations within the possibilities as an employer”. In addition to legal advice, discussions were held with employees, ensemble representatives and works councils about possible experiences in the working environment. The fact that no connection with the official activity could be established and no confirmation of the alleged misconduct in the private sphere emerged made it difficult to clarify the facts and to take steps under employment law (for example suspension).

“Legal support” is not only advisable at the beginning
Nor was it a dereliction of duty not to inform the supervisory board and the owner. Against this background, however, the Ministry of Culture has instructed the Bundestheater-Holding to investigate the information obligations within the group. The report identifies a need for improvement, particularly in the area of ​​documentation of the proceedings and ongoing support of the case: In future cases, it should be borne in mind that “legal support is not only used at the beginning of a suspected case, but also in the context of further development”.

“Further employment not contrary to duty”
In principle, however, the Burgtheater had the option of casting Florian Teichtmeister less often or less prominently. As the report shows, this was also attempted in consultation with him, but Teichtmeister resisted and threatened to sue his ex-partner for defamation if he took such a step. “If a high-profile suspicion about an actor cannot be substantiated by the employer, the further employment of the employee cannot be regarded as dereliction of duty,” the expert opinion said.

The compliance guidelines need to be revised
Following the report, the Ministry of Culture has now instructed the holding company to take concrete measures. This includes, among other things, the revision of the existing compliance guidelines, in particular with regard to the procedure in case of suspicious situations in the company. There should also be external training for managers, for example on ways to clarify the facts, weigh risks and create awareness.

From a purely legal point of view, it is necessary to examine whether the “right to work” should be relativized so that suspension or non-employment is also allowed in cases where criminal investigations are initiated, especially when it comes to crimes committed in the case of a guilty verdict, should be considered grounds for dismissal. It should also be examined whether the exchange of information with employers can be expanded.

Expert: “We have to look”
“The Burgtheater and the Bundestheater-Holding have fulfilled their obligations in handling the case – but that does not mean that more could not have been done,” Mayer said in a broadcast. “We will therefore take a number of measures to make the handling of serious allegations against employees of the Bundestheatergroep – of any kind – even better and more professional.” sector a right as in all other sectors of society. “We need to look and make the victims feel heard and taken seriously.”

Source: Krone

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