The German Federal Labor Court (judgment of March 20, 2018 – 1 ABR 15/17) has recently clarified a matter of considerable practical relevance for U.S. companies offering stock options to employees of their Germany-based subsidiaries: Does the German subsidiary’s works council have a right to be involved when it comes to offering stock options? READ MORE
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.
Asia Employment Law Update
Proposed Regulations May Complicate Reductions in Force in China
On December 31st, 2014, Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (“MOHRSS”) issued a notice to solicit public opinions on the draft Regulations on Personnel Cutbacks by Enterprises (“Draft Regulations”). The Draft Regulations set out detailed implementing rules for “mass layoffs” (defined under the Labor Contract Law as being a layoff of more than 10% of the workforce or more than 20 employees) and, if adopted in their current form, will further complicate the process for conducting reductions in force in China.
In 2010, Germany’s Federal Labor Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht) abolished the principle of collective bargaining unity, commonly referred to as “Tarifeinheit” (“One business, one collective agreement”). As a consequence, since then it has been possible that two different collective bargaining agreements applied for the same group of employees within the same operation. This ruling is supposed to be the major reasons why there have been more strikes in the last couple of months in Germany than ever before.
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