The district labour court in Cologne ruled on Friday that if a woman employed on a limited contract to cover for the maternity leave of another woman, is herself pregnant, she does not have to tell her new employer.
This applies even if her pregnancy means she will not be able to complete the period for which she has been hired, the court said.
Pregnant women cannot be discriminated against in the German workplace, the judge said - and this applies to short-term or limited contracts as well.
"A pregnant woman therefore does not have to from her own volition, nor in answering questions, inform about a pregnancy," the court's verdict read.
An employer cannot therefore, cancel a maternity leave coverage contract awarded to a woman who fails to finish it due to her own pregnancy - even if she knew this would happen when she signed the contract.