Category Archive: Company Practice

No dogs allowed – a “ruff” decision for employees

The Regional Labour Court Düsseldorf (Landesarbeitsgericht, LAG) ruled on 23 March 2014 (docket number: 9 Sa 1207/13) that employers are generally entitled to prohibit their employees from taking their dogs to work. According to the judges the prohibition can be based on the employer’s right to give instructions (Direktionsrecht) to his employees – as that …

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The Ins and Outs of German Vacation Time and Vacation Pay

As we approach summer many employers start to intensify their staff’s vacation planning.  Vacation regulations in Germany are not as straightforward as many employers might think. Today’s blog therefore aims to provide a basic overview on German vacation rules for employers. How much vacation pay and time are employees entitled to? Starting off with the …

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EWC: Rules for communicating via company intranet confirmed

A European Works Council (EWC) may not communicate directly with employees using the employer’s intranet or email system. So decided the Labour Court Lorrach (docket number: 5 BV 7/12) in a case where the EWC of a multinational group with over 11,600 employees in Europe asked the company’s European central management to publish the EWC’s …

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Massaging business expense forms – fatal even without the employee’s signature

An airline dismissed a captain without notice after discovering that the captain had submitted overstated travel expenses, even though the expense form was not properly completed, had been partially overwritten and lacked the required signature.  The first two court hearings upheld the employee’s claim and ordered reinstatement as they regarded the carelessly filled form as …

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The perils of using emoticons in references ☺

An employer has been reprimanded for signing a positive reference with a “grumpy face” emoticon, and should have used a “smiley face” instead, according to the Regional Labour Court of Kiel (Arbeitsgericht Kiel – docket number: 5 Ca 80 b/13).   The plaintiff was employed by the defendant as an occupational therapist.  After the plaintiff’s employment …

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Carnival season: Are employees entitled to paid time off to party?

Although the carnival season in Germany (also known as the “Fifth Season”) officially begins on 11 November, at 11:11 a.m., the celebrations usually take place between February and March.  The Fifth Season reaches its climax in the week before Ash Wednesday, with “Women’s Carnival” (Weiberfastnacht) on Thursday when women “cut off men’s ties” and Shrove Monday …

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There’s no such thing as free parking…

The Regional Labour Court of Baden-Württemberg (Landesarbeitsgericht, LAG) ruled on January 13, 2014 (docket number: 1 Sa 17/13), that an employer was entitled to charge employees to use a newly constructed car park, even though the car park had previously been free of charge. In the case at point, until the rebuilding and partial new construction …

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