Monthly Archive: April 2015

A trip to the drycleaners is no workplace activity

A trip to the drycleaners during an employee’s lunch break is not covered by the German statutory accident insurance relating to accidents at the workplace (judgment by the Higher Regional Social Court of Hessen dated March 24, 2015, docket number L 3 U 225/10). Under German law, employees are protected by statutory accident insurance during …

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Repeated fixed-term contracts may indicate an abuse of right

Employment on the basis of ten consecutive fixed-term contracts within a timeframe of less than seven years may, considering the circumstances of the particular case, be an abuse of the law. As a consequence, the last fixed term may be invalid, leading to an unlimited employment contract. Based on this, the Higher Regional Labour Court …

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No can do

Using a company credit card for private purposes without express permission from the employer may be grounds for a formal warning or even allow for a conduct-related dismissal (judgment by the Nuremberg Higher Regional Labour Court, Landesarbeitsgericht, LAG; dated February 3, 2015, docket number 7 Sa 394/14). In the case at hand, the employer provided …

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Partial claim to statutory vacation with a start date on 1 July

If an employment relationships starts on 1 July and lasts through 31 December of that year, the employee will only be entitled to a partial claim to statutory vacation according to a judgment by the Hamm Higher Regional Labour Court (Landesarbeitsgericht, LAG; judgment dated February 19, 2015, docket number 16 Sa 1207/14). In the case …

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Work isn’t always a bowl of cherries

A superior who repeatedly and directly criticizes an employee does not commit workplace bullying when the employee must be considered atypically sensitive, even if individual allegations may be not fully justified. (Landesarbeitsgericht München, October 30, 2014, docket no. 4 Sa 159/14). The plaintiff sued his employer for damages due to workplace bullying by his superior. …

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Too short a notice period will not render a termination null and void

Even if an employment contract invalidly provides for a notice period of two days and the employer subsequently issues a termination with a two-day notice period, this will not render a termination null and void. The Hamm Higher Regional Labour Court (Landesarbeitsgericht, LAG) was called to rule on the validity of a termination in the …

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Ins and Outs of Bonus and Commission Payments – Part II

In the second part of our two-part overview, we will address further aspects of bonus and commission payments with regard to the possibility to revoke a bonus and the impact of a termination of employment on the bonus entitlement. Can an employer revoke a bonus? Under certain, very narrow conditions, German law allows the employer to …

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Ins and Outs of Bonus and Commission Payments – Part I

Employers may grant their employees bonuses in addition to fixed basic salary for a variety of reasons, for example, to reward performance, loyalty to the company or just as a Christmas gratuity. In this context different questions arise. This two-part post addresses the most common questions regarding bonus and commission payments.    What are the …

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Independent contractor or employee – That is the question.

Time and again the question arises whether an individual is employed as an independent contractor or as an employee. Under German law there is a thin line between an employee, ie someone who performs services under an employment contract, and an independent contractor, ie someone who performs services on an independent basis. The distinction is …

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