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
A recent ruling of the Federal Labor Court will invalidate thousands of forfeiture clauses in employment contracts in Germany. Companies need to review and revise their standard employment contracts now and explore options to amend existing contracts to exclude potential liabilities. Otherwise there may be significant exposure for the employer. The time to act is now! 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.
After a long wait the time has finally come: the draft ministerial bill regarding the reform of the German Act on the Supply of Temporary Employees (Arbeitnehmerüberlassungsgesetz – AÜG) is out. On November 16, 2015, the draft bill entered “early coordination,” i.e. a period of coordination with the Office of the Federal Chancellor prior to coordination between the various ministerial departments. The cabinet decision is due by the end of the year. The law is expected to come into effect on January 1, 2017.
Since 2006, when the General Equal Treatment Act came into force in Germany, most decisions about discrimination have dealt with alleged discrimination based on age. Is this surprising? Probably not. According to the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency in Germany, every fifth German claims to have already experienced discrimination at work based on age.
In Germany, all employees are mandatorily covered by the statutory pension insurance which provides the main source of income during retirement. In addition, many companies grant company pension benefits to their employees, subject to the terms and conditions of the company pension scheme established for this purpose. The amount of the company pension payable after retirement increases with the length of service. READ MORE
In Germany, many companies have resorted to utilizing temp workers through a third-party agency instead of hiring their own personnel. Temp workers typically are leased from an agency that employs the temps and assigns them to the company (lessee). This staffing model has increasingly received political criticism and judicial attention. 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