Monthly Archive: February 2014

The perils of using emoticons in references ☺

An employer has been reprimanded for signing a positive reference with a “grumpy face” emoticon, and should have used a “smiley face” instead, according to the Regional Labour Court of Kiel (Arbeitsgericht Kiel – docket number: 5 Ca 80 b/13).   The plaintiff was employed by the defendant as an occupational therapist.  After the plaintiff’s employment …

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Carnival season: Are employees entitled to paid time off to party?

Although the carnival season in Germany (also known as the “Fifth Season”) officially begins on 11 November, at 11:11 a.m., the celebrations usually take place between February and March.  The Fifth Season reaches its climax in the week before Ash Wednesday, with “Women’s Carnival” (Weiberfastnacht) on Thursday when women “cut off men’s ties” and Shrove Monday …

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Advertising for a young professional could cost you a lot of money…

A job advert aimed at “young professionals” (Berufseinsteiger) could constitute age discrimination according to the Higher Labour Court of Düsseldorf (Landesarbeitsgericht Düsseldorf – docket number: 13 Sa 1198/13). A law firm published a job advert which included the following wording: “You are a young professional or you have already worked for one to two years …

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You can’t have everything – no changes regarding intra-group agency work

The Government specifies the planned amendments of the Regulating Commercial Agency Work Act (Arbeitnehmerüberlassungsgesetz). According to the Government’s response to a parliamentary question (kleine Anfrage) put by the Group of the Greens (Die Grünen) the government does not plan any special regulations for the agency work within affiliated group companies (konzerninterne Arbeitnehmerüberlassung). In the Government’s …

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Company pension scheme – no information, no damages

The Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht, BAG) ruled on January 21, 2014 (docket number: 3 AZR 807/11) that there is no legal obligation for employers to inform employees about their statutory right to divert parts of their remuneration into a company pension scheme. According to section 1a para 1 of the Company Pension Act (Gesetz zur …

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It could always be worse – Tax evasion not only leads to criminal prosecution

On the 7 January 2014 the Labour Court of Kiel (Arbeitsgericht Kiel) ruled that tax evasion can justify an ordinary dismissal (docket number: 2 Ca 1793a /13) even when the employee’s line manager was informed about tax evasion or, even worse, initiated such activity. The employee, a severely disabled person, worked for a long time as …

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Gold gone – job gone?

An employee who had been employed by a bank for 20 years was dismissed for cause with immediate effect when some gold within her charge went missing. Last September, renovations were taking place in the bank’s cellar creating chaos and disorder. An unexpected gold delivery worth EUR 300,000 arrived. The employee was responsible for transporting …

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Anti-discrimination law: Candidate claims to be brought against employer, not recruiter

The German Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht, BAG) ruled on January 23, 2014 (docket number – 8 AZR 118/13) that claims for compensation concerning moral prejudice due to violation of the General Equal Treatment Act (Allgemeines Gleichbehandlungsgesetz, AGG) can only be brought against the prospective employer and not the recruitment agency, even if it is not …

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Be aware…

DLA Piper publishes regularly a newsletter in German with recent news about employment law. The February issue of the DLA Piper “Be Aware” Newsletter provides a summary on proposed laws according to the coalition agreement as well as an overview on important labour court decisions. The newsletter contains decisions about consequences of not only temporarily …

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There’s no such thing as free parking…

The Regional Labour Court of Baden-Württemberg (Landesarbeitsgericht, LAG) ruled on January 13, 2014 (docket number: 1 Sa 17/13), that an employer was entitled to charge employees to use a newly constructed car park, even though the car park had previously been free of charge. In the case at point, until the rebuilding and partial new construction …

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