Tag Archives: Lawyer

Politics Law Society

Dismissal due to illness only possible in the case of a negative health prognosis

Dismissal due to illness only possible in the case of a negative health prognosis

Dismissal due to illness only possible in the case of a negative health prognosis

While it is a relatively widespread misconception that employees cannot be dismissed while they are sick, dismissal due to illness does require certain conditions be fulfilled.

Employers can potentially dismiss employees even during a period of illness under certain circumstances. In fact, the illness can even be the reason for the employee“s dismissal. Nevertheless, certain conditions need to be fulfilled for this to happen. For example, there needs to be a negative health prognosis, i.e. the circumstances need to be such that it appears likely the employee will go through further periods of illness within the scope of what he has experienced to date. Additionally, the anticipated absence from work due to illness must significantly disrupt the employer“s operational and financial interests, and it needs to be established following a thorough weighing up of interests that it is no longer reasonable to expect the employer to put up with this disruption. We at the commercial law firm GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte note that it is only when these conditions have been met that notice of dismissal due to illness can be effectively issued.

That is why it is important to carefully assess whether these conditions have been met before issuing notice of dismissal due to illness. Otherwise, as is clear from a ruling of the Landesarbeitsgericht (LAG) Mecklenburg-Vorpommern [Regional Labour Court of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania] from March 7, 2017, the notice will be invalid (Az.: 2 Sa 158/16).

In the instant case, the employee in question had been employed at the relevant company for around 12 years. Yet her periods of absence from work due to illness became more frequent between 2011 and 2015. Citing various reasons, including a pinched nerve in her elbow, back trouble after falling on a set of stairs, and psychological problems following her divorce, the employee was absent from work for a total of about 400 days during this period. She also refused to participate in the company“s reintegration programme. Finally, the employer issued notice of dismissal. However, the employee“s action for wrongful dismissal was successful.

The LAG Mecklenburg-Vorpommern took the view that there was not enough evidence pointing towards a negative health outlook. It held that tissue and skeletal injuries resulting from an accident normally heal and therefore cannot form the basis of a prognosis indicating subsequent periods of absence. The Court went on to say that even life crises such as a divorce are usually temporary and do not necessarily lead to further periods of absence. The LAG thus concluded that there was no negative health prognosis.

Whether notice of dismissal due to an illness is effective or not depends on the circumstances of each individual case. Accordingly, the notice ought to be thoroughly prepared. Lawyers who are experienced in the field of employment law can advise employers.

https://www.grprainer.com/en/legal-advice/employment-law.html

GRP Rainer LLP www.grprainer.com/en/ is an international firm of lawyers and tax advisors who are specialists in commercial law. The firm counsels commercial and industrial companies and corporations, as well as associations, small- and mid-sized businesses, self-employed freelancers and private individuals worldwide from offices Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and London UK.

Contact
GRP Rainer LLP
Michael Rainer
Augustinerstraße 10
50667 Cologne
Phone: +49 221-27 22 75-0
Fax: +49 221-27 22 75-24
E-Mail: info@grprainer.com
Url: http://www.grprainer.com/en

Politics Law Society

Cartel Office imposes fine on battery manufacturers for illegal arrangements

Cartel Office imposes fine on battery manufacturers for illegal arrangements

Cartel Office imposes fine on battery manufacturers for illegal arrangements

The Bundeskartellamt, Germany“s Federal Cartel Office, has imposed fines totalling around 28 million euros against two manufacturers of industrial batteries for entering into illegal arrangements.

While neither company had made general arrangements regarding the price of their batteries, they did agree to introduce what is known as the „Metallteuerungszuschlag“ (MTZ) [metal surcharge to cover rising costs] as an industry standard. The MTZ is a significant portion of the price.

The Bundeskartellamt began its investigations in 2014 and concluded them with the imposition of the fines. A third company avoided any fines by participating in the leniency programme as the principal witness.

As noted by the Bundeskartellamt in its press statement, the metal surcharge is in principle a permissible means of accounting for changes to the price of raw materials in the selling price without having to begin new negotiations. The Cartel Office noted that while suppliers and purchasers are absolutely allowed to agree to this type of automatic mechanism, it is not permissible for suppliers to make arrangements amongst themselves to introduce an industry-wide surcharge of this kind. The competition watchdog concluded that this impaired competition and excluded other price models.

In the instant case, the manufacturers had already arranged as early as the beginning of 2004 to reapply the metal surcharge domestically to stationary batteries due to rising lead prices and thus directly pass on the changes in price to the customer. The domestic scope of this arrangement was then reported to have been extended between 2012 and 2014 to include so-called „traction batteries“.

The proceedings against the manufacturers were ultimately brought to a consensual end on the basis of a settlement, with this being taken into account for the purposes of determining the extent of the fines.

We at the commercial law firm GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte note that violations of competition law or antitrust law can give rise to severe sanctions, and these sanctions are not limited to fines. The cartel members might also be faced with damages claims, for instance, and repercussions under criminal law cannot be ruled out either. Moreover, it is equally possible for the executive bodies of the companies in question to be liable.

Having said all of that, violations of antitrust law are by no means always as blatant as in the case, for example, of illegal price-fixing arrangements. Individual contractual clauses may also be sufficient to violate the applicable laws. For this reason, it is advisable to have agreements reviewed by lawyers who are versed in the fields of competition law and antitrust law with a view to their significance from the perspective of these legal fields. The same is true if violations have already occurred and claims need to be either fended off or enforced.

https://www.grprainer.com/en/legal-advice/antitrust-law.html

GRP Rainer LLP www.grprainer.com/en/ is an international firm of lawyers and tax advisors who are specialists in commercial law. The firm counsels commercial and industrial companies and corporations, as well as associations, small- and mid-sized businesses, self-employed freelancers and private individuals worldwide from offices Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and London UK.

Contact
GRP Rainer LLP
Michael Rainer
Augustinerstraße 10
50667 Cologne
Phone: +49 221-27 22 75-0
Fax: +49 221-27 22 75-24
E-Mail: info@grprainer.com
Url: http://www.grprainer.com/en

Politics Law Society

Animal shelter effectively designated as heir in will

Animal shelter effectively designated as heir in will

Animal shelter effectively designated as heir in will

It is not possible for animals to inherit, but the same does not hold true for animal shelters. That being said, a clearly drafted will needs to be prepared for this to happen.

In the absence of a will or contract of inheritance, the rules of intestate succession apply. These will not necessarily lead to a result that corresponds with the testator“s wishes, but they can be circumvented with a will. With this, the testator can determine who his heir or heirs will be. We at the law firm GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte note that this does not have to be a natural person; a legal person, such as an association, can also be appointed as heir. Having said that, things can become problematic if the association has since been wound up or had to file for insolvency.

Such were the circumstances of the inheritance case that came before the Oberlandesgericht (OLG) Düsseldorf [Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf]. Here, the childless and single testator designated an animal shelter, or more specifically its sponsoring association, as his heir. Several years after the will was drawn up, insolvency proceedings were initiated in relation to the association. However, the animal shelter had been taken over by another association. The point of contention was then who should inherit, with the insolvency administrator of the „old“ association also applying for a certificate of inheritance. In its judgment of January 12, 2017, the OLG Düsseldorf ruled against him and held that it was the new association that had become heir (Az.: I-3 Wx 257/16).

The OLG ruled that the testator had appointed the association which at the time was not yet insolvent as his sole heir in a will. Yet he had cited as the address the location of the animal shelter and not the head office of the association in doing so. Moreover, the carer to the sick testator was said to have confirmed in a witness statement that it was the latter“s intention for the animal shelter to inherit. The testator was supposed to have been intent on supporting the animals at the animal shelter, there having been no thought given to the possibility of insolvency or the association being wound up at the time the will was drafted.

The OLG held that in interpreting the will it had established that it was the testator“s desire to support the animals and not the insolvent association“s creditors. It went on to say that a testator does not normally make donations to a legal person for the sake of the legal person itself but rather to promote the cause to which the legal person is dedicated.

Even though the inheritance ultimately went to the animal shelter, the case clearly demonstrates the need to word one“s final will as accurately and specifically as possible. Lawyers who are versed in the field of succession law can offer advice.

https://www.grprainer.com/en/legal-advice/private-clients/law-of-succession.html

GRP Rainer LLP www.grprainer.com/en/ is an international firm of lawyers and tax advisors who are specialists in commercial law. The firm counsels commercial and industrial companies and corporations, as well as associations, small- and mid-sized businesses, self-employed freelancers and private individuals worldwide from offices Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and London UK.

Contact
GRP Rainer LLP
Michael Rainer
Augustinerstraße 10
50667 Cologne
Phone: +49 221-27 22 75-0
Fax: +49 221-27 22 75-24
E-Mail: info@grprainer.com
Url: http://www.grprainer.com/en

Politics Law Society

Submit a voluntary declaration leading to immunity for tax evasion while you still can

Submit a voluntary declaration leading to immunity for tax evasion while you still can

Submit a voluntary declaration leading to immunity for tax evasion while you still can

A voluntary declaration leading to immunity for tax evasion needs to be tailored to the exact circumstances of a given case. Only then can voluntary declaration actually lead to immunity.

A lot of tax evaders have already taken advantage of the opportunity to submit a voluntary declaration leading to immunity. While the number of voluntary declarations has dropped significantly since the requirements associated with voluntary disclosure became more stringent as of January 1, 2015, it is still a viable option. We at the law firm GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte note that for a voluntary declaration to be capable of leading to immunity, it needs fulfil various criteria. It has to be submitted on time, i.e. before the tax evasion is detected by the authorities, complete and free from errors.

It is only when these criteria have been fulfilled that a voluntary declaration can lead to immunity. It is still assumed that untaxed income is being concealed from the exchequer in foreign accounts, e.g. in Switzerland, Austria as well as in other former tax havens. However, the risk of these illicit funds being discovered has increased appreciably, not least due to the automatic exchange of financial information among more than 100 countries. For tax dodgers with illicit funds in foreign accounts, this means that they need to take action if they still wish to submit a voluntary declaration and return to a state of tax compliance.

In order for a voluntary declaration to be complete, it must include all information that is relevant from a tax perspective from the past ten years and disclose this to the competent tax office. That is why it is important to carefully consider each individual case; there is no standard solution when it comes to voluntary disclosure. Those who nonetheless forego qualified assistance when preparing a voluntary declaration and attempt to do so on their own or with the help of standard templates are taking a substantial risk that the voluntary declaration is incomplete and will thus fail. Should it come to this, there is still the very real prospect of a conviction for tax evasion despite the voluntary declaration. The latter can then only have a mitigating effect similar to a confession.

To prevent this from happening, lawyers who are experienced in the field of tax law ought to be tasked with preparing the voluntary declaration. They are able to carry out a detailed assessment of each individual case and know what information and documents need to be included in the voluntary declaration for it to be capable of leading to immunity.

https://www.grprainer.com/en/legal-advice/tax-law/voluntary-disclosure.html

GRP Rainer LLP www.grprainer.com/en/ is an international firm of lawyers and tax advisors who are specialists in commercial law. The firm counsels commercial and industrial companies and corporations, as well as associations, small- and mid-sized businesses, self-employed freelancers and private individuals worldwide from offices Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and London UK.

Contact
GRP Rainer LLP
Michael Rainer
Augustinerstraße 10
50667 Cologne
Phone: +49 221-27 22 75-0
Fax: +49 221-27 22 75-24
E-Mail: info@grprainer.com
Url: http://www.grprainer.com/en

Politics Law Society

GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte: Assessing claims to a compulsory portion

GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte: Assessing claims to a compulsory portion

GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte: Assessing claims to a compulsory portion

If close relatives of a testator are excluded from inheriting in a will or contract of inheritance, they are still entitled to their share of the statutory compulsory portion.

The rules of intestate succession regulate inheritance claims brought by the relatives of the testator. First and foremost, it is the spouse and the testator“s own children who inherit first. If the testator prepares a will or contract of inheritance, he is not bound by the rules of intestate succession. His testamentary freedom allows him to designate other heirs. Notwithstanding this, the close relatives who are entitled to inherit by law do not normally come away empty-handed under these circumstances either. They are entitled to a compulsory portion of the estate. We at the law firm GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte note that this generally amounts to half of the statutory share of the inheritance.

Thus, in order to determine the exact amount of the compulsory portion, one must first check what share those entitled to the compulsory portion would have in the estate under the rules of intestate succession. In calculating claims to the compulsory portion, it is equally important to assess the value of the estate. Those entitled to the compulsory portion are entitled to have the heir provide them with information pertaining to the value of the estate. Additionally, claims supplementing the compulsory portion can also arise, e.g. in the event that the testator gave gifts during his lifetime which reduce the value of the estate. However, this only applies to gifts that were given no more than ten years prior to the testator“s death. These gifts can be included in the value of the estate and thus influence the extent of the compulsory portion.

Should the testator wish to prevent either his spouse or offspring from the obtaining the compulsory portion, this is only possible under very strict conditions. Divesting those entitled to the compulsory portion of the compulsory portion is only possible if they can be accused of serious wrongdoing vis-à-vis the testator. This is the case, for example, if the person entitled to the compulsory portion seeks to kill the testator or is guilty of another serious criminal offence.

When it comes to inheritances, it is not uncommon for legal disputes to arise. Lawyers who are experienced in the field of succession law can serve testators, heirs and persons entitled to a compulsory portion as qualified go-to advisers.

https://www.grprainer.com/en/legal-advice/private-clients/law-of-succession.html

GRP Rainer LLP www.grprainer.com/en/ is an international firm of lawyers and tax advisors who are specialists in commercial law. The firm counsels commercial and industrial companies and corporations, as well as associations, small- and mid-sized businesses, self-employed freelancers and private individuals worldwide from offices Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and London UK.

Contact
GRP Rainer LLP
Michael Rainer
Augustinerstraße 10
50667 Cologne
Phone: +49 221-27 22 75-0
Fax: +49 221-27 22 75-24
E-Mail: info@grprainer.com
Url: http://www.grprainer.com/en

Politics Law Society

Dismissal with immediate effect for competing business activity valid

Dismissal with immediate effect for competing business activity valid

Dismissal with immediate effect for competing business activity valid

If an employee acquires a major stake in a rival firm, his employer can issue him with a notice of dismissal with immediate effect.

If it has good cause for doing so, an employer can terminate an employment relationship by issuing exceptional notice of dismissal with immediate effect. We at the commercial law firm GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte note that this condition may be met if an employee carries out some form of activity for a company that is in competition with his employer. In its ruling of April 12, 2017, the Landesarbeitsgericht (LAG) Schleswig-Holstein [Regional Labour Court of Schleswig-Holstein] held that notice of dismissal with immediate effect is valid if an employee acquires a major stake in a competitor (Az.: 3 Sa 202/16).

In the instant case, an employee of a company had acquired a 50 per cent stake in a rival firm. He had agreed to a restraint on competition in his employment contract. This prohibited the employee from carrying out activities for a company that either directly or indirectly competes with his employer, whether that be on an autonomous, non-autonomous or any other kind of basis. Notwithstanding this, the employee acquired a 50 per cent share in a competitor and subsequently received notice of dismissal with immediate effect for this competing business activity.

The LAG Schleswig-Holstein ruled that the notice of dismissal with immediate effect was valid. The Court took the view that the company in relation to which the employee had acquired a stake was a competitor vis-à-vis said employee“s employer, noting that it had provided services not only to his employer but also third parties. Due to his 50 per cent share, it was said that the employee would have been able to discover that this was the case. The Court stated that the employee had violated the contractual restraint on competition and carried out improper competing business activities, and in doing so given rise to good cause justifying exceptional notice of dismissal.

The Court went on to say that there is no competing business activity if the other firm carries out the contentious activity on a contractual basis for the employer. Moreover, acquiring the status of shareholder in another company does not necessarily constitute a competing business activity. It clarified, however, that this is the case if the companies compete with each other and major influence can be exerted on business operations as result of the employee“s status as a shareholder. The LAG concluded that a 50 per cent stake represented a major influence.

Whether exceptional notice of dismissal is effective always comes down to the circumstances of each individual case. Lawyers who are experienced in the field of employment law can advise employers on matters pertaining to dismissal as well as in relation to other issues under employment law.

https://www.grprainer.com/en/legal-advice/employment-law.html

GRP Rainer LLP www.grprainer.com/en/ is an international firm of lawyers and tax advisors who are specialists in commercial law. The firm counsels commercial and industrial companies and corporations, as well as associations, small- and mid-sized businesses, self-employed freelancers and private individuals worldwide from offices Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and London UK.

Contact
GRP Rainer LLP
Michael Rainer
Augustinerstraße 10
50667 Cologne
Phone: +49 221-27 22 75-0
Fax: +49 221-27 22 75-24
E-Mail: info@grprainer.com
Url: http://www.grprainer.com/en

Politics Law Society

GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte: Experience in enforcing claims following trademark violations

GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte: Experience in enforcing claims following trademark violations

GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte: Experience in enforcing claims following trademark violations

If a registered trademark is infringed, it is possible to take action against this. GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte is experienced in enforcing and fending off claims arising from trademark violations.

Trademarks create greater brand recognition among consumers and in doing so foster customer loyalty. It is therefore crucial for businesses to have their trademarks protected to prevent competitors from profiting from their success.

As a commercial law firm with a great deal of experience in the field of trademark law, we at GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte note that a symbol or mark is in principle capable of being registered as a trademark if it is sufficiently distinctive vis-à-vis goods and services provided by other companies. Nonetheless, even if a trademark is registered and protected, there is always the possibility of trademark violations occurring. These kinds of infringements ought to be consistently pursued in order to protect one“s business and legal action taken in the form of, for instance, formal warnings, cease-and-desist declarations or claims for damages.

That being said, it is important to check beforehand whether a trademark violation has in fact occurred. If, for example, a formal warning is wrongfully issued, this is considered negligent in the absence of a prior investigation and entails culpability. This can, in turn, result in the company that was wrongfully issued with a formal warning being able to assert damages claims.

Avoiding this kind of scenario is absolutely essential. That is why one should first of all establish the field in relation to which a trademark has been registered. Examples of marks capable of being registered include word marks, figurative marks, colour marks, audio marks, 3D marks, or a combination of the above. Additionally, it is also necessary to assess the territorial area with respect to which the trademark has been afforded protection. This is especially important at a time when globalization continues to advance. A trademark is initially protected in the country in which it was registered. However, it is possible to expand this protection, e.g. to other European Union member states and beyond. Particularly in light of the United Kingdom“s upcoming exit from the European Union, it may be a good idea to have another closer look at trademark protection. It is, of course, also necessary to ensure that one“s own trademarks do not infringe any existing trademark rights.

Lawyers who are experienced in the field of intellectual property law can advise on all matters pertaining to trademark law as well as assume responsibility for enforcing or fending off claims arising from trademark violations.

https://www.grprainer.com/en/legal-advice/intellectual-property-law-and-trademark-law/trademark-law.html

GRP Rainer LLP www.grprainer.com/en/ is an international firm of lawyers and tax advisors who are specialists in commercial law. The firm counsels commercial and industrial companies and corporations, as well as associations, small- and mid-sized businesses, self-employed freelancers and private individuals worldwide from offices Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and London UK.

Contact
GRP Rainer LLP
Michael Rainer
Augustinerstraße 10
50667 Cologne
Phone: +49 221-27 22 75-0
Fax: +49 221-27 22 75-24
E-Mail: info@grprainer.com
Url: http://www.grprainer.com/en

Politics Law Society

Wills in the case of unmarried couples

Wills in the case of unmarried couples

Wills in the case of unmarried couples

The Bundestag, Germany“s lower house of parliament, has voted in favour of what it is referred to in Germany as „Ehe für alle“ (marriage for all), i.e. marriage equality. Spouses are automatically accounted for under the rules of intestate succession. However, this is not the case for unmarried couples. For these couples, the rules of intestate succession do not apply.

According to German succession law, should a spouse pass away then his or her partner will not come away empty-handed, even in the absence of a will or contract of inheritance. In these instances, the rules of intestate succession apply. Although the Bundestag has now voted in favour of marriage equality, this does not mean that every couple will actually want to marry. Many couples, whether they be heterosexual or homosexual, consciously opt not to get married and cohabit without a marriage certificate. Despite having since been largely accepted and recognized by society, this way of life has yet to make inroads in succession law. We at the law firm GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte note that in the event of one partner dying, the surviving partner will be left with nothing if neither a will nor a contract of inheritance exists. The surviving partner is not taken into account under the rules of intestate succession.

This can have dramatic consequences. If, for example, a married couple builds a house together and one of the partners subsequently dies, said partner“s relatives are then entitled to inherit and would thus also inherit part of the house. This might mean the surviving partner having to come to an arrangement with the heirs or even potentially sell the house. To prevent these kinds of scenarios from happening, unmarried couples can prepare a will or contract of inheritance. In doing so, it is possible to circumvent the rules of intestate succession.

The testator is able to set out in a will who will inherit and how much. In this way, one can provide unmarried partners with financial security. That being said, the testator does not have carte blanche to do whatever he pleases. For instance, claims to the compulsory portion of the estate and those entitled to inherit need to be taken into account. A will can, of course, also give rise to disputes among the heirs, particularly if heirs feel they may have been overlooked. That is why a will ought to be prepared in such a way that it is as „watertight“ as possible. In doing so, it is important to consider several formal requirements in relation to a handwritten will, such as the inclusion of the date and a signature, but also the possibility of pitfalls lurking within the wording.

To ensure that the testamentary arrangements are implemented in accordance with the testator“s wishes, lawyers who are experienced in the field of succession law can advise on all issues pertaining to wills and contracts of inheritance.

https://www.grprainer.com/en/legal-advice/private-clients/law-of-succession/last-will-and-testament.html

GRP Rainer LLP www.grprainer.com/en/ is an international firm of lawyers and tax advisors who are specialists in commercial law. The firm counsels commercial and industrial companies and corporations, as well as associations, small- and mid-sized businesses, self-employed freelancers and private individuals worldwide from offices Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and London UK.

Contact
GRP Rainer LLP
Michael Rainer
Augustinerstraße 10
50667 Cologne
Phone: +49 221-27 22 75-0
Fax: +49 221-27 22 75-24
E-Mail: info@grprainer.com
Url: http://www.grprainer.com/en

Politics Law Society

European Commission imposes fine on Google for antitrust violations

European Commission imposes fine on Google for antitrust violations

European Commission imposes fine on Google for antitrust violations

The European Commission has imposed a fine totalling 2.42 billion euros on the internet giant Google for violating antitrust law.

The European Commission came to the conclusion that the internet company was abusing its dominant market position as a search engine operator. Specifically, the company was said to have favoured its own price comparison service in relation to those of competitors. The former was positioned right at the top of search results, whereas competitors“ services appeared much further down when searching for online shopping deals and accordingly were clicked on less often. This was said to negatively impact competition in the price comparison markets.

In the Commission“s press statement from June 27, 2017, it stated that Google had thus secured an unlawful advantage for its price comparison service and violated EU cartel regulations, as this behaviour deprived competitors of the chance to win over consumers with the quality of their service. Furthermore, European consumers were being deprived of the chance to be able to make a proper choice between the various services. Google now has 90 days in which to refrain from this behaviour and apply the principle of equal treatment to rival price comparison services and its own service. Failing this, the company will be faced with the prospect of high penalty payments. Aggrieved competitors will also be able to submit damages claims under civil law following the European Commission“s decision. Notwithstanding this, the US firm has already announced that it may wish to go before the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Whether it be abuse of a dominant market position, illegal pricing arrnagments or other violations of antitrust law, these infringements can lead to heavy fines, something which we at the law firm GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte note those involved in the truck cartel, for instance, now know all too well. That being said, antitrust law not only concerns the big sensational cases. Violations of antitrust law can occur unintentionally and unknowingly, e.g. due to individual contractual clauses violating existing laws. Severe penalties are equally possible in these cases.

For this reason, it is advisable to have agreements reviewed by experienced lawyers with a view to their implications from the perspective of antitrust law. Appropriate legal expertise is also crucial if violations of antitrust law or competition law have already occurred and claims need to be either fended off or enforced.

https://www.grprainer.com/en/legal-advice/antitrust-law.html

GRP Rainer LLP www.grprainer.com/en/ is an international firm of lawyers and tax advisors who are specialists in commercial law. The firm counsels commercial and industrial companies and corporations, as well as associations, small- and mid-sized businesses, self-employed freelancers and private individuals worldwide from offices Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and London UK.

Contact
GRP Rainer LLP
Michael Rainer
Augustinerstraße 10
50667 Cologne
Phone: +49 221-27 22 75-0
Fax: +49 221-27 22 75-24
E-Mail: info@grprainer.com
Url: http://www.grprainer.com/en

Politics Law Society

Dismissal with immediate effect after constantly working up working hours deficit

Dismissal with immediate effect after constantly working up working hours deficit

Dismissal with immediate effect after constantly working up working hours deficit

Flexible working hours are commonplace in many companies today. Notwithstanding this, employees must perform the work they owe to their employer pursuant to their employment contract, otherwise they may be faced with exceptional notice of dismissal.

A lot of companies have since moved away from a system of rigid working hours and now offer flexible working hours. That being said, the working hours owed by an employee, among other things, are agreed and laid out in his employment contract. Employees have to fulfil this contractual obligation and are not allowed to constantly build up their working hours deficit. We at the commercial law firm GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte note that if an employee fails to perform the work as stipulated in the employment contract, this may constitute good cause justifying exceptional notice of dismissal.

Such were the circumstances that led to the Landesarbeitsgericht (LAG) Hamburg [Regional Labour Court of Hamburg] upholding the effectiveness of a notice of exceptional dismissal in its ruling of November 2, 2016. The notice was issued because the employee in question had continuously worked up his working hours deficit again and again (Az.: 5 Sa 19/16).

In the instant case, the employment relationship had already existed for a period of more than 20 years. Based on a collective wage agreement, the employer could only terminate the employment relationship if it had good cause for doing so. Over the years, disputes repeatedly arose between employer and employee for a variety of reasons. In addition, the employer had already issued various formal warnings. The employer had also rebuked the employee on a number of occasions because the latter“s working time account was regularly in deficit. However, the employee failed to work off his deficit and instead continued to further contribute towards this. In the end, he had worked up a deficit of just under 56 hours, despite the fact that he had agreed to a mere 20 hours with his employer. In consultation with the staff council, the employer finally issued notice of dismissal with immediate effect.

The employee“s legal action opposing his dismissal was unsuccessful before the LAG Hamburg. The Court held that notice of dismissal with immediate effect had been effective. It stated that performing the work owed pursuant to the employment contract is one of an employee“s main obligations, a breach of which constitutes good cause justifying exceptional notice of dismissal. In the case in question, the employee was said to have failed to work off his working hours deficit despite repeatedly being called on to do so and instead continued to contribute towards this. The Court went on to say that a less severe reaction in the form of a formal warning would no longer have been sufficient in response to the employee“s misconduct. The LAG concluded that it was no longer reasonable to expect the employer to continue the employment relationship.

Whether exceptional notice of dismissal is effective or not always comes down to the circumstances of each individual case. Accordingly, notices ought to be thoroughly prepared. Lawyers who are experienced in the field of employment law can advise employers.

https://www.grprainer.com/en/legal-advice/employment-law.html

GRP Rainer LLP www.grprainer.com/en/ is an international firm of lawyers and tax advisors who are specialists in commercial law. The firm counsels commercial and industrial companies and corporations, as well as associations, small- and mid-sized businesses, self-employed freelancers and private individuals worldwide from offices Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and London UK.

Contact
GRP Rainer LLP
Michael Rainer
Augustinerstraße 10
50667 Cologne
Phone: +49 221-27 22 75-0
Fax: +49 221-27 22 75-24
E-Mail: info@grprainer.com
Url: http://www.grprainer.com/en