Monthly Archive: July 2014

A friendly word costs nothing, an unfriendly one may cost a lot more…

The Regional Labour Court of Schleswig-Holstein (LAG Schleswig Holstein) ruled on 20 May 2014 that a warning can reasonably be issued to an employee for rude behavior towards customers (docket number 2 Sa 17/14). The plaintiff worked as a training consultant. When a participant on the training course asked him where to apply for the …

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The heat is on….are employees entitled to “Hitzefrei”?

The temperature in Germany has been above 25 °C (77°F) for the past few weeks and many employees might wonder whether they are entitled to a day off due to the excessive heat (“hitzefrei” as it is called in Germany). According to Sec. 3 of the Labour Protection Act (Arbeitsschutzgesetz, ArbSchG), the employer is obligated …

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No Compensation for Unpaid Wages after Embezzlement of Employer’s Funds

According to a recent judgment of the German Federal Labor Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht, BAG), an employer is not required to compensate an employee for wages not paid if the employer could not reasonably be expected to accept the employee’s services (judgment dated 16 April 2014, docket number: 5 AZR 739/11). In the case at hand, the …

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Anniversary bonus – No continuing employment relationship required

The Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht, BAG) decided that the payment of an anniversary bonus does not require the duration of the employment relationship beyond the date of the anniversary  (judgment dated April 9, 2014, docket number 10 AZR 635/13). The plaintiff was employed by the company for exactly forty years. His employment terminated on 28 …

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Work hard, play harder?

The decision whether an accident is of an occupational nature or not often becomes important for employees desiring coverage under statutory accident insurance. Generally, occupational injuries pursuant to sec. 8 subsec. 1 Social Insurance Code VII (Sozialgesetzbuch VII, SGB VII) require a substantial causal relationship between the accident and the insured activity. This relationship is …

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Discrimination due to weight?

The Local Labour Court (Arbeitsgericht, ArbG) Darmstadt has rejected a disability discrimination lawsuit against a health promotion company (judgment dated June 12, 2014, docket number 6 Ca 188/14). The plaintiff, a female applicant, had sued the company for 30,000 EUR in damages under the German Equal Treatment Act (Allgemeines Gleichbehandlungsgesetz, AGG). The applicant is 1.7 …

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Discrimination, an ever-present issue

The Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht, BAG) ruled on 25 June 2014 (docket number 7 AZR 847/12) that as a result of the non-discrimination principle the employer may be obliged to offer an employee, who worked as a works council member during his fixed-term employment, an unlimited follow-up contract.   The plaintiff started to work on the basis …

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Actions speak louder than words

An employment contract written in German can be concluded by signature, regardless of whether the employee signing is German-speaking or not. A Portuguese employee working as a driver in an international shipping company was only Portuguese-speaking. After negotiations in his mother-tongue, he signed a contract written in German. Later on, the parties argued about some …

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Minimum wage from 2015

The lower house of the German Parliament (Bundestag) has approved the nationwide minimum hourly wage of EUR 8.50 (GBP 7.11, USD 11,55) to start on 01 January 2015. The consent of the upper house (Bundesrat) for the bill to become law is still required but it is to be expected that the Bundesrat will approve …

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Too short to fly?

The Regional Labour Court (Landesarbeitsgericht, LAG) Cologne has rejected a sex discrimination lawsuit against Lufthansa (judgment dated June 25, 2014, docket number 5 Sa 75/14). The plaintiff, a female pilot applicant, had sued the airline for damages under the German Equal Treatment Act (Allgemeines Gleichbehandlungsgesetz, AGG). Lufthansa has a height requirement in place mandating that …

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