Monthly Archive: March 2014

Unpaid internship crackdown?

An intern who permanently performs tasks of regular employees should be paid for the work, according to the Regional Labour Court in Bochum (Arbeitsgericht Bochum – docket number: 2 Ca 1482/13).  The case has caused quite a stir in the German press. A large German supermarket chain took on a young woman as an intern …

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EWC: Rules for communicating via company intranet confirmed

A European Works Council (EWC) may not communicate directly with employees using the employer’s intranet or email system. So decided the Labour Court Lorrach (docket number: 5 BV 7/12) in a case where the EWC of a multinational group with over 11,600 employees in Europe asked the company’s European central management to publish the EWC’s …

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What age limits are permissible in private pension schemes?

According to the Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht, BAG – docket number: 3 AZR 69/12) a company´s private pension scheme may not exclude an employee´s entitlement to a private pension where the defined vesting period of ten years does not expire before the employee reaches the age of 55.    Age limits are allowed in general …

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(Do not) Press the Button!

When a user deletes a file on a Windows PC, a delete confirmation dialog box pops up asking the user: “Are you sure you want to move this file to the Recycle Bin?”  Whilst the delete confirmation is usually a good thing to prevent users from deleting files by accident, it is not a suitable …

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Are works council members entitled to work until the end of their term of office?

A works council’s term of office is, normally, four years.  What happens if a works council member is employed on a fixed-term contract and the contract ends long before the end of the works council’s term of office?  Does the employment contract simply come to end as agreed, or can the works council member claim …

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No general obligation on employers to disclose warning letters to the works council

There is no general obligation on an employer to provide the works council with issued or planned warning letters, whether in original or anonymized form, according to the Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht, BAG – docket number: 1 ABR 26/12). An employer is only obliged to provide the works council with information and documents necessary to …

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Massaging business expense forms – fatal even without the employee’s signature

An airline dismissed a captain without notice after discovering that the captain had submitted overstated travel expenses, even though the expense form was not properly completed, had been partially overwritten and lacked the required signature.  The first two court hearings upheld the employee’s claim and ordered reinstatement as they regarded the carelessly filled form as …

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Workplace gossip: Untrue allegations can justify dismissal

Untrue defamatory allegations about superiors and colleagues may justify a dismissal, according to the Higher Labour Court of Berlin-Brandenburg (LAG – docket number: 19 Sa 322/ 13). During her employment as an assistant in the finance department of a commune, the plaintiff accused colleagues of heavy drinking and engaging in sexual activities during working hours. …

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