Category Archive: Company Practice

No codetermination regarding a customer feedback function within a smartphone app

On 8 June 2017 the Labour Court of Heilbronn decided that a smartphone application, provided and operated by an employer, allowing customers to share their feedback including statements about the performance and the behaviour of certain employees is not a surveillance tool according to § 87 I Nr. 6 BetrVG, if the employer does not …

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Employees exempted from their duties are allowed to take part in a corporate event

On 22 June 2017 (docket number 8 CA 5233/16) the labour court in Cologne found that an employee is allowed to take part in company outings and events although he is on garden leave. The employee and subsequently plaintiff had been working for the employer, an association that operates retirement homes, for almost three decades. …

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No cake for company pensioner

The Labour Court Cologne (Arbeitsgericht, ArbG, Köln, November 24, 2016 – 11 Ca 3589/16) has dismissed the claim of several company pensioners against their former employer, a local food producer. The pensioners claimed a Christmas allowance in the amount of € 105 and a marzipan cake. The pensioners alleged that all company pensioners received those benefits …

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Remuneration Transparency Act: A look ahead

The coalition committee set the outline for a Remuneration Transparency Act in October 2016, thereby affirming that the current gender pay gap between men and women is no longer acceptable. The Act is planned to come into force in summer 2017. The draft law expressly states that it aims to promote and enforce the equal …

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Sick is sick

The Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht, BAG) ruled on 2 November 2016 (docket number: 10 AZR 596/15) that an employee who is incapable of work for health reasons does not need to come into the office for a personnel meeting requested by the employer. In this case the employer called the sick employee into the office twice …

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Showering in the workplace is a private matter: the employer only has to pay for changing time

Which activities are treated as working time and must be paid by the employer? The Higher Labour Court Düsseldorf (Landesarbeitsgericht/LAG) was called  to decide whether the owner of a car workshop owes his employees remuneration for changing clothes (five minutes before and after shift) and washing time (ten minutes after shift) (settlement dated 3 August …

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Think hard before making any special payments….

Employers should think hard before they pay out an annual bonus to their employees – as this may result in an actual ongoing entitlement for employees. According to a ruling of the German Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht, BAG), dated May 13, 2015 (docket number: 10 AZR 266/14) this generally also applies if the employer has …

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Limits to the (personal) scope of a collective promise

According to the Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht – docket number: 10 AZR 453/13) the employer is entitled to limit the scope of a collective obligation (Gesamtzusage) at any time, even where it already applied to the workforce, due to the conditions of its initial declaration. If the employer declares to the staff that the company …

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Fine feathers make fine birds

Many companies set up standards for work clothes. In these cases, it is a question of law whether changing into mandatory work clothes is part of the employees’ working time. According to the German Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht, BAG), the time required to change into work clothes at the work place counts as working time …

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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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