Tag Archive: dismissal

Shortened notice period during probationary period requires clear language

German law allows a short notice period of two weeks during a probationary period, which can be agreed for up to six months. However, if the employment contract generally provides for a longer notice period, without making clear that this longer notice period only applies after the end of the probationary period, that longer notice …

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Employer May Ban Employees From Wearing Headscarves

In a recent ruling made on March 14, 2017, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) decided (docket nos. C-157/15, C-188/15) that employers may prohibit staff from wearing Islamic headscarves under certain circumstances. The ECJ held that such prohibitions do not constitute “direct discrimination”; instead, limits on visible religious wear shall be considered permitted under EU …

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Works council’s request to dismiss an employee qualifies as an urgent operational reason for dismissal

Under German law, the works council can request that an employer dismisses or reassigns an employee if the employee has violated the law or has grossly violated principles set forth in sec. 75 of the Works Constitution Act, such as by showing racist or xenophobic behavior in the workplace. If the employer does not comply …

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Dismissal Protection Act not applicable to managing directors despite employee status

While recent EU law developments on the potential employee status of managing directors (cf. ECJ, June 9, 2015, docket no. C-229/14 – Balkaya) and decisions of the German Federal Labour Court regarding the procedural issue of giving managing directors access to the Labour Courts under certain circumstances have somewhat blurred the dividing lines between managing …

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Release of documents when leaving the company

The State Labor Court of Rhineland-Palatinate (Landesarbeitsgericht Rheinland-Pfalz)  decided on 01.09.2016 (5 Sa 139/16) that the defendant is obliged, according to her employment contract, to hand over all operational working materials and documents, as well as copies and recordings, to the plaintiff when leaving the company. The plaintiff runs an enterprise which trades in rice …

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No ice behind the steering wheel

The German Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht, BAG; docket no. 6 AZR 471/15) recently had to review a decision made by the Nuremberg Higher Labour Court (Landesarbeitsgericht, LAG; docket no. 7 Sa 124/15) that considered a first-time DUI violation not sufficient for an immediate termination of a truck driver’s employment contract. The Federal Labour Court considered …

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Termination dispute about sympathy card with the words “you are next”…

The Higher Labour Court Hamm (Landesarbeitsgericht Hamm, docket number 7 TaBV 45/16) had to decide whether a member of the works council, with a seniority of 20 years, can be terminated for good cause with immediate effect. The reason for the termination was the allegation that a member of the works council wrote “for you …

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Too fat to work? 200kg employee is fighting against his dismissal

On June 27, 2016 the Higher Labour Court (Landesarbeitsgericht Düsseldorf, docket number 7 Sa 120/16) had to decide whether the termination of employment of a man weighing 200 kg is justified. The defendant worked in a landscaping, civil engineering and canal construction business. Besides the plaintiff, who has worked for the defendant since 1985, the …

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Death threats towards the employer can be grounds for termination without notice

On August 8, 2016 the Labour Court of Düsseldorf (Arbeitsgericht Düsseldorf, docket number 7 Ca 514/15) ruled that a termination without notice can be justified if the employee seriously threatens his employer The employer claimed a strong suspicion that his employee might have threatened him via telephone with the words “I kill you”. The employee …

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Offending superiors on Facebook with emoticons does not automatically justify termination of the employment contract

On 22 June 2016 the Higher Labour Court of Baden-Wurttemberg (Landesarbeitsgericht Baden-Württemberg, docket number 1 Ca 290/15) ruled that referring to superiors with emoticons of animal heads – such as in this case a pig’s or a monkey’s head – in a conversation among employees on Facebook may be an insult, but was not sufficient …

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