Monthly Archive: December 2014

Minimum wage from 1 January 2015 – Part II

In the second part of our two-part overview, we will address further obligations and liability with regard to the implementation of the new statutory minimum wage. Can the minimum wage entitlement be waived? The minimum wage is mandatory (sec. 3 of the Minimum Wage Act). Agreements according to which the employee’s remuneration will be less …

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Minimum wage from 1 January 2015 – Part I

On 1 January 2015 the Minimum Wage Act (Mindestlohngesetz, MiLoG) will come into force and introduce the first nationwide minimum wage for all sectors in Germany. On this occasion, we will provide you with a two-part overview covering relevant questions. Who is entitled to the Minimum Wage? All employees who are employed in Germany are …

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A delayed lawsuit does not always lead to forfeiture

A claim for damages for pain and suffering on grounds of harassment can be forfeited. However, mere inactivity of the claimant will not by itself lead to forfeiture as has recently been decided by the Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht, BAG – judgment dated 11 December 2014, docket number 8 AZR 838/13). The plaintiff, an employee, …

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Obesity may qualify as a disability

The ECJ was recently asked in the case of Kaltoft v Kommunernes Landsforening to consider whether obesity should be regarded as being a disability for the purposes of disability discrimination. The case concerns an overweight Danish childminder, Karsten Kaltoft, who was sacked by his employer (the local authority) allegedly because the employer thought that he …

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Repeated fixed-term contracts may be against European law

The European Court of Justice has ruled that long-term employment of teachers under fixed-term employment contracts may violate EU law (judgment dated 26 November 2014, docket number C-22/13, C-61/13, C-62/13, C-63/13, C-418/13). The case was referred to the European Court of Justice from Italy. Under Italian law, vacant posts for teachers and administrative staff in …

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Employee petition no ground for dismissal

According to a judgment by the Higher Regional Labour Court Hamm (Landesarbeitsgericht, LAG), collecting signatures at the workplace may not be reason enough to justify a dismissal for cause (judgment dated 2 July 2014, docket number 4 Sa 235/14). In the case at hand, an employee was collecting signatures at work to support his wish …

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Legislative reforms regarding family and medical leave imminent

On 1 January 2015, changes to the German Care Act (Pflegezeitgesetz, PflegeZG) and the German Family Care Act (Familienpflegezeitgesetz, FamPflG) will come into force. The new regulations aim to reconcile family care duties and work. Under the revised law, employees are entitled to work part-time in order to be able to care for sick relatives. …

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’tis the season – holiday parties and workplace accidents

Accidents during a holiday party at work may qualify as work accidents and thus be covered by statutory social accident insurance. However, this will be only be the case if the holiday party is in fact considered a work event and organised by the employer. Following a judgment by the German Federal Social Court (Bundessozialgericht, …

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The person you have called is not available…

According to Sec. 9 para 1 of the Working Time Act, employees are not allowed to work on Sundays and public holidays. However, the law provides for a number of exceptions, for example for employees in emergency and rescue services and hospitals or the public transport sector but also in restaurants, theatres or other leisure …

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Rest for the weary?

Taking a nap at work does not necessarily constitute grounds for dismissal. According to a recent judgment by the Cologne Labour Court (Arbeitsgericht, ArbG), the dismissal of an employee who took a nap which lasted several hours was disproportionate and thus invalid (judgment dated 19 November 2014, docket number 7 Ca 2114/14). The plaintiff works …

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