Category Archive: Compliance

Background checks aka pre-employment screenings in Germany

Many companies refuse to settle for the information provided by the applicant on job applications and in personal interviews. So-called background checks (also known as “pre-employment screenings”) therefore enjoy great popularity among employers in the US and the UK as a measure to investigate the potential employee’s background. This screening may be conducted by the …

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Social Media in the employment context and the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Sharing personal and work-related information on social media sites has become a prevalent practice for many employees nowadays. Likewise, social media is also used by employers as a platform to connect with the public (e.g. for employer branding and in recruitment) and to communicate within the workforce. However, both sides should be aware that the …

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Terminations for breaches of compliance regulations

On 26 February 2016 (docket number: 1 Sa 358/15) the Higher Labour Court (Landesarbeitsgericht, LAG) Rhineland-Palatinate decided that an employer may terminate the employment relationship with an employee who breached company compliance rules provided the employee was served with a warning for a similar violation before. In the present case the court found that the …

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Compliance investigations and the two-week exclusionary period for immediate dismissal for cause

The successful management and timing of compliance investigations requires careful consideration of the statutory two-week exclusionary period for immediate dismissal for cause of employees involved in any compliance violations.   In German law, an immediate dismissal for cause is only valid and legally effective if the competent works council was duly heard and the written dismissal …

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Protection of confidential business secrets – Sharing sensitive company data among works councils of group companies

Passing on business secrets by employees to third parties may be a criminal offence and therefore potentially justify an immediate dismissal for cause. In a recent ruling the regional labour court (Landesarbeitsgericht, LAG) Schleswig-Holstein decided that sharing sensitive company data among works councils of group companies may not always justify a dismissal (March 4th, 2015; docket …

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Use of a promotional film after the end of an employment

Can an employer publish a promotional film after an employee, who appears in the film, is no longer employed by the company? The Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht, BAG) decided upon this matter on February 19, 2015 (docket number: 8 AZR 1011/13). The defendant had commissioned the production of a promotional film about its company in …

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Comments on applicant CVs might cost you

In a recent case (docket number: 8 AZR 753-13) the federal labour court (Bundesarbeitsgericht, BAG) once again had to decide on a discrimination case concerning the employment application process. The fully-qualified plaintiff applied for a job as a full-time accountant with the defendant. In her CV she declared her civil status to be “married, one …

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Tricks in time recording do not save a lot of time!

Manipulation of time recording may justify dismissal without notice according to a judgment of the Higher Labour Court of Hessen (Landesarbeitsgericht, LAG).  Following judgments of the Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht, BAG), manipulation of time recording by employees is a serious breach of contract which can justify a dismissal without notice even where the employee in …

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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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Works council election 2014: Election can only be stopped for obvious and gross mistakes

Employers are only allowed to prevent works council elections, if the election is void due to serious and obvious mistakes. In the case at hand, the employer, who runs two facilities with separate work councils, refused to cooperate with the election board prior to the works council election. The two existing works councils planned to …

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