Dr. André Zimmermann, a Certified Specialist for Employment Law (Fachanwalt für Arbeitsrecht), heads Orrick’s German Employment Practice. With around ten years of international experience, André is well-versed in restructuring and headcount reduction, employment aspects of M&A transactions, and employment related litigation.
André works closely with our clients' in house counsel, management and human resources to ensure business-savvy and goal-oriented advice that meets the needs of our clients' industry sector and entrepreneurial culture.
André advises companies on a wide range of HR legal matters, including hiring and discrimination concerns, reclassifications risks, multi-jurisdictional and cross-border employment issues, HR data privacy compliance, roll out of employee handbooks and policies, performance management and terminations with a special sector focus on technology companies. Most recently, André has advised technology companies such as AppAnnie, Facebook, Flexera, Github, NVIDIA, Optimizely, Sabre, Sensata Technologies, Snap, Splunk, The Trade Desk and Visa on various employment matters in Germany.
A particular focus of his practice is on restructuring, outsourcing and headcount reductions. André has a long-standing experience in negotiating with works councils and unions and in restructuring measures of all kind. He is an acknowledged specialist in employing third-party personnel, especially through temporary agency work.
André is a core member of our global employment practice consisting of 70 specialized employment lawyers and world leading practices in our offices in the United States, Asia and Europe, offering the highest level of employment advice in all major jurisdictions. Our well-established teamwork across offices
ensures international advice in employment law in our clients' cross-border projects.
Ongoing/Day-to-Day Employment Advice
- Facebook - Ongoing general advice in employment law
- California-based leading
technology company - Ongoing general advice in employment law
- World Triathlon Corporation/IRONMAN - Ongoing general advice in employment law
- Leading academic social network - Ongoing general advice in employment law
- NYSE-listed global IT service provider - Ongoing general advice in employment law with a focus on temporary agency work and contractor compliance
- Various startups - Ongoing advice on all aspects of employment law including implementation of employee equity programs
- World Triathlon Corporation/IRONMAN - Advice on post-acquisition restructuring
- Leading US travel technology company - Advice on restructuring including negotiations with works council and implementation of headcount reduction
- Listed Germany-based Koenig & Bauer AG - Advice on major intra-group restructuring including several spin-offs in order to implement a holding structure
- Nasdaq-listed leading provider of printing technology - Advice on restructuring of Germany business
- Leading global supplier of medical technology - Advice on restructuring of Germany business
- Leading national IT service provider for banks - Advice on post merger reorganization
- Leading national asset manager - Advice on outsourcing of property management
- One of Europe's biggest hospital groups - Representation in more than 100 equal pay claims under the German Act on Temporary Agency Work before local and regional labour courts
- Leading German bank - Advice on challenging first-time works council election and representation before local labour court
- Leading global technology company - Post-acquisition redundancy scenario and representation before local and regional labour courts in numerous unfair dismissal claims
- Leading global technology company - Post-merger redundancy scenario including ca 100 unfair dismissal claims before local and regional labour courts
- Leading global technology company - Internal fraud investigation including representation in numerous unfair dismissal claims before court up to the Federal Labour Court
- One of the Top 10 Unicorns - Advice on market entry in Germany including implementation of employment contracts and confidentiality agreements
- Leading US technology company - Advice on restructuring in Germany and rollout of employee handbook
- International trading corporation - Implementation of a firmwide code of conduct in Germany including data privacy requirements of whistleblower schemes
- Ardian - Acquisition of a majority stake in CNC technology company imes-icore
- Hitachi Chemical - Acquisition of ISOLITE, a German thermal insulation manufacturer
- DBAG - Acquisition of Abbelen Group, a leading German manufacturer of prepared foods
- DBAG - Investment in radiology group
- Ardian - Sale of Frostkrone stake to Emeram Capital
- BIP Investment Partners and LUXEMPART - Acquisition of ARWE Group , a leading European provider of mobility services for car rental and car sharing companies
- Fagerhult - Acquisition of WE-EF, a globally leading specialist in exterior lightin
- TCV - Advised Palo Alto-based TCV on its first investment in Germany, one of Germany’s largest VC financings in 2016
- Imagine Easy - Sale of Imagine Easy Solutions to Chegg, Inc.
- Fagerhult - Acquisition of LED Linear GmbH
- World Triathlon Corporation/IRONMAN - Acquisition of Lagardère Sports' endurance division
According to a recent decision of the German Federal Labor Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht – BAG), the use of a keylogger software, which records all keyboard entries on a workplace computer for covert monitoring and control of the employee, is prohibited if there is no suspicion of a criminal offense or severe breach of duty.
Although severely exceeding the limits of permissible private use of the workplace computer and Internet may in principle constitute such a grave infringement of the obligations under the employment relationship that a dismissal with immediate effect may be justified, it must be kept in mind that the employer bears the burden of proof for the employee’s misconduct in case of a claim for unfair dismissal.
If evidence is achieved in breach of the Federal Data Protection Act (Bundesdatenschutzgesetz – BDSG), this generally indicates that its utilization in legal proceedings may infringe the employee’s right on informational self-determination and, therefore, is not admissible evidence. READ MORE
Global companies face stricter rules on employee data privacy, in particular when using social media and internal monitoring tools. It also now becomes clearer that many EU Member States will use the opening clause of Art. 88 General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) to re-implement their “old” data privacy laws.
- Use of Social Media And Employee Analysis Tools Under GDPR
Recently, the Article 29 Working Party (“WP29”), the expert group of European data protection authorities, published its opinion on the upcoming changes relating to data privacy at the work place. It explains what employers should do for ensuring compliance with the GDPR and provides guidelines for the use of information found on social media platforms – such as Facebook or LinkedIn and for electronic monitoring of employees. READ MORE
On April 1 2017, the reform of the German Act on Temporary Agency Work (Arbeitnehmerüberlassungsgesetz) came into force bringing major changes for agencies and their clients. Agencies and their customers have to revisit work processes and agreements. The same is true for the use of external staff based on service or work contracts (e.g., facility management, IT services) The time to act is now, since not all changes are subject to transition periods. In fact, material changes already came into force on April 1,2017, the violation of which may result in severe sanctions up to criminal penalties.
As we reported last summer, Germany’s Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) set up a centralized platform for receiving whistleblower complaints of alleged violations of supervisory provisions within the financial sector.
Beginning this year, the BaFin implemented a new electronic system, allowing whistleblowers to submit their reports. The system guarantees the informants absolute anonymity, while on the other hand enabling the BaFin to make contact regarding possible inquiries. Thereby, although taking place on anonymous basis, the newly installed communication channel is expected to give BaFin the opportunity to verify the truth value of the submitted information by posing further questions, e.g. regarding the background of the complaint. READ MORE
The German Federal Labor Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht – BAG) has ruled that when an employer provides Facebook users access to publish posts on the company’s Facebook page that relate to the behavior or performance of individual employees, that process is subject to negotiation and co-determination of the works council.
The ruling is of particular significance especially for companies with an existing works council in Germany that operate a Facebook page or a page on a similar social network with a commenting function for users.
On October 21, 2016, the German Parliament adopted the draft law regarding the reform of the German Act on Temporary Agency Work (Arbeitnehmerüberlassungsgesetz – AÜG). The reform will come into force as planned on April 1, 2017 and will bring material changes for both, agencies and their customers, the host businesses.
A legislative change that entered into force on October 1, 2016, affects multinationals with employees working in Germany. In order to comply with these recent changes, companies doing business in Germany should now double-check and, where necessary, adjust their standard employment contracts.
Just in time for the 10th anniversary of the German General Equal Treatment Act (Allgemeines Gleichbehandlungsgesetz – AGG) the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has clarified that European anti-discrimination law does not protect mock applicants, i.e. applicants who are not interested in being hired, but solely apply in order to bring claims on the grounds of discrimination. The judgment will make it easier for companies in Europe to reject such discrimination claims in the future.
Last week, Germany’s Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) unveiled a centralized platform for receiving whistleblower complaints, including anonymous complaints, of alleged violations of supervisory provisions within the financial sector. The move appears to represent a shift in German ideology toward a more favorable view of anonymous reporting, which for many years was discouraged in Germany and more broadly in the EU due to the risk of “organized systems of denouncement.” Under the new program, whistleblowers may submit reports in writing (on paper or electronically), by phone (with or without recording the conversation), or verbally. BaFin’s press release announcing the program states that it will make the anonymity of whistleblowers a “top priority,” and that it will not pass on the identity of whistleblowers to third parties. The program is “aimed at person with a special knowledge of a company’s internal affairs – for example because they are employed there or have some other contractual relationship or relationship of trust with the company.”
BaFin was required to implement this new platform due to an amendment to the German Act on Financial Services Supervision. Notably, the Act only applies to the financial services sector, not including external accountants, tax consultants and attorneys. It provides that employees working in the financial services sector may not be held liable for reporting potential or actual breaches of law under either employment law or criminal law, unless the report was false or grossly negligent.
On June 1, 2016, the draft law regarding the reform of the German Act on the Supply of Temporary Employees (Arbeitnehmerüberlassungsgesetz – AÜG) has been adopted by the Federal Cabinet. The German Bundestag will address the draft law after the summer break. However, material changes to the draft are not expected to be made during the parliamentary process. If the time schedule will be observed, the reform will come into force as planned on January 1, 2017.
The new law will bring material changes for both, employment agencies and their customers, the host businesses.