Recently, the German Federal Labor Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht “BAG”) rendered a decision which had been awaited with interest by German employers (BAG, April 25, 2013 – 8 AZR 287/08) with regard to information rights of rejected job applicants. Read More
After twice rejecting the Government’s proposals, the House of Lords has just finally voted to accept the much argued Clause 27 of the Growth and Infrastructure Bill, thereby paving the way for new legislation that will create a third type of UK employment status—Employee Shareholder. Read More
German companies rely heavily on temporary workers. Due to fundamental legislative reforms in the mid-2000s, it is possible to pay temporary workers a salary which is below the salary of comparable permanent staff. Therefore, the use of temporary workers provided by HR service providers is a cost effective way for German companies to flexibly adjust their workforce to the current demand of labor. However, in recent years, several High Court decisions have strengthened the rights of temporary workers. In the last months the Federal Labor Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht “BAG”) has issued several important decisions which aim to further improve the rights of temporary workers and also affect companies using the services provided by temporary workers. German companies who employ temporary workers should be aware of these important new developments. Read More
The British man who was filmed wrestling a shark, which threatened nearby children in the sea, whilst he was on holiday in Australia – the footage of which went global – has been sacked by his employer this week. It has been revealed that Mr. Marshallea and his wife (who has also been sacked) were on sick leave from the charity that employed them at the time of Mr. Marshallea’s heroic efforts and his employer took the view that this was a breach of trust too far.
Mr. Marshallea’s version of events is that he was off work with stress (as was his wife) and his GP had advised them that a holiday would do them good. His employer, in the dismissal letter, allegedly stated that, ‘Whilst unfit to work, you were well enough to travel to Australia and, according to recent news footage of yourself in Queensland, you allegedly grabbed a shark by the tail and narrowly missed being bitten by quickly jumping out of the way; the photographs and footage appearing in newspapers and television broadcasts.” Read More
In the recent case of Onyango v. Berkeley Solicitors, the UK Employment Appeal Tribunal ruled that an employee was allowed to bring a ‘whistleblowing’ claim relating to a protected disclosure that was made after the termination of his employment.
Under UK law, workers are protected from receiving detrimental treatment as a result of raising a concern about certain types of wrongdoing occurring in the workplace. In Onyango, the Claimant (Mr. Onyango) brought a claim in the Employment Tribunal alleging that as a result of making a protected disclosure, he was accused of forgery and dishonesty which ultimately led to him being investigated by the regulatory body for solicitors in the UK, the Solicitors Regulatory Authority. The Employment Tribunal held that it did not have jurisdiction to hear Mr. Onyango’s claim because he had made the protected disclosure after the termination of his employment and that it could only hear the case where such disclosure was made during the course of his employment. Mr Onyango appealed to the Employment Appeal Tribunal. Read More
Welcome to the Winter 2013 edition of Orrick World: A Quarterly Report of Global Employment Law Issues for Multinationals. We have designed this newsletter to provide our multinational clients with quarterly updates on important employment law issues across the globe.
According to the German European Works Councils Act, the employees at companies or groups of companies with an aggregated headcount of more than 1,000 employees and at least each 150 employees in two Member States of the European Union have the right to elect a European Works Council (EWC). This representative body is located at the German parent company’s seat. It has various rights of information, either based on an agreement between the EWC and the parent company, or based on the Act if no agreement was found. Read More
In the recent case of Geys v. Société Générale, Mr. Geys, who was employed as managing director was given a letter in November 2007 by Société Générale stating: “I am writing to notify you that Société Générale, London has decided to terminate your employment with immediate effect”. Mr. Geys was then escorted from the building and never returned to it. Despite this, the Supreme Court has ruled that his contract of employment was not terminated. Read More
The solicitation of employees by competitors is a frequent problem for companies in Germany. Many companies actively pursue a so-called “war for talents” and sometimes unlawful means are used for the purpose of soliciting employees. The loss of key employees can cause severe damage to a company. In many cases, not only expert knowledge but also confidential information and client relationships are lost. The German Federal Labor Court (“Bundesarbeitsgericht” – “BAG”) recently decided on the damage claims of a company which had lost numerous key employees due to unlawful solicitation activities of a competitor (BAG September 26, 2012, 10 AZR 370/10). The decision was eagerly awaited as the plaintiff had claimed a compensation payment of 46 million Euro for the damages caused by the massive solicitation of key employees. The BAG’s decision establishes important principles regarding the solicitation of employees and damage claims of companies who were the target of unlawful solicitation activities. Read More
In the recent UK case of Smith v. Trafford, the Claimant was awarded just £98 (approx. $150) by the English High Court for a successful breach of contract claim against his housing trust employer (the “Trust”). The Claimant, Mr. Smith, had posted two comments on his Facebook wall expressing his views on gay marriage. One comment stated “equality too far” and the other comment elaborated on his reasons for opposing gay marriage. In the Trust’s view, Mr. Smith’s comments amounted to a serious breach of its Code of Conduct and Equal Opportunities Policy. He had a significant number of colleagues as his Facebook friends and the Trust was concerned that his personal views would be interpreted as its own. Consequently, the Trust found Mr. Smith guilty of gross misconduct but rather than dismissing him, demoted Mr. Smith to a non-managerial position with a resulting 40 percent reduction in his pay. Read More