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Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek

 

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New EU Directive on Cross-border Online Distribution of Television and Radio Programmes
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, October 2019

Almost at the same time as the much-noticed and controversially discussed Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (see Update IP No. 12: Agreement on the Reform of the Digital Copyright Law) and barely noticed by the public, another European Directive on copyright law was adopted...

Employment: Trends & Developments
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, October 2019

The labour and employment sector has once again seen many changes – both in terms of the initiatives of the legislator as well as changes in the way the sector works. One important change has been the implementation of the Law on Protection of Business Secrets (Gesetz zum Schutz von Geschäftsgeheimnissen – GeschGehG). The economic relevance of business secrets is very high...

Employment: Law & Practice
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, October 2019

1. TERMS OF EMPLOYMENT 1.1 STATUS OF EMPLOYEE In Germany, an employee (Arbeitnehmer) enjoys a special status that is described as the personal obligation to perform work upon the employer’s instructions, without entrepreneurial risks and in a situation of economic dependence (to a certain degree) on the employer...

Facebook May be Required to Seek and Erase Illegal Content Worldwide
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, October 2019

The Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) has ruled, upon submission by the Austrian Supreme Court (Oberster Gerichtshof, OGH), with the decision of 3 October 2019 (Case C-18/18), that hosting providers, in this case Facebook, may be required by a court to seek and erase content which is identical or, under certain circumstances, equivalent to information previously found to be unlawful...

CJEU: Pre-checked consent to the use of cookies is inadmissible
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, October 2019

On October 1, 2019 the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that pre-ticked boxes do not constitute a valid consent by web users prior to storing cookies on their devices (Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband e.V. and Planet49 GmbH; Case C-673/17). The decision follows a challenge by the German Federation of the Consumer Organisations against the use of a pre-ticked checkbox which had, by default, consented to cookies on behalf of the user...

Employers are Not Obligated to Notify Employees of Expiring Vacation Entitlements during Long-Term Illnesses
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, September 2019

In its July 24, 2019 judgment (Case: 5 Sa 676/19), Hamm State Labor Court issued a ruling as to whether employers are obligated to also notify employees who are out of work due to long-term illnesses that their vacation entitlement will expire by December 31 of the calendar year or by March 31 of the subsequent year if those employees fail to take their vacation days. The court denied this on convincing grounds. The final verdict, however, will come from the Federal Labor Court...

The Works Council’s Right to Inspect Payroll with Gross Salaries Broken Down by Employee Names
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, September 2019

The works council may demand access to the employees’ payroll. Considerations under data protection law do not require anonymization or pseudonymization. Federal Labor Court, May 7, 2019 – 1 ABR 53/17   FACTS OF THE CASE A company granted the works council access to its electronic employee salary file – the payroll showing gross salaries, while stripping employees’ names from the list, thus in anonymized (more correctly: pseudonymized) form...

No General Prohibition of Deterioration for Retirement Benefits in Cases of Transfer of Businesses
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, September 2019

Federal Labor Court, June 12, 2019 - 1 AZR 154/17.  There is no general prohibition of deterioration that applies to retirement benefits in the case of one or several transfers of businesses pursuant to Section 613a German Civil Code. This has now been confirmed by the Federal Labor Court in a recent decision...

No Granting of Half Days of Leave
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, September 2019

Half days of leave granted by the employer may be claimed again by the employee due to inadmissible fulfillment of the vacation entitlement. Baden-Württemberg State Labor Court, March 6, 2019, 4 Sa 73/18 Employees may not demand half days of leave from employers as part of their statutory minimum leave. If employers nevertheless grant half days of leave, this does not comply with their obligation to grant proper leave, at least as far as the minimum leave is concerned...

Warning Under Industrial Constitution Law – No Entry in the Personnel File
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, September 2019

Stuttgart Labor Court, April 30, 2019 – 4 BV 251/18 Warnings by which employers are reprimanding the exercise of office by works council members and threatening sanctions in accordance with Section 23 Works Constitution Act (warnings under works constitution law) may not be entered in the personnel files of works council members irrespective of their lawfulness...

Effects of a No-Deal Brexit for UK Employees in Germany
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, September 2019

After Brexit has already been postponed several times, the next deadline will now expire on October 31, 2019. With the new Prime Minister at the helm, it is becoming more likely every day that the UK will leave the EU without a withdrawal agreement entering into force. Obviously, UK citizens who live and work in Germany are particularly affected. The same also applies to employers in Germany employing UK citizens...

Presumption of Urgency of Section 12 (2) UWG (Presumably) Not Applicable to Proceedings Under the GeschGehG
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, September 2019

In its decision of 8 August 2019 (Ref.: 29 W 940/19), the Munich Higher Regional Court commented for the first time on the German Act on the Protection of Business Secrets (GeschGehG). In court proceedings in which claims arising from the law which came into force at the end of April 2019 are asserted, urgency should not be presumed pursuant to Section 12 (2) German Law against unfair competition (UWG) (analogously)...

Lump Sum Remuneration for Overtime based on a (General) Works Agreement
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, September 2019

In its decision of June 26, 2019 (ref. 5 AZR 452/18), the 5th Senate of the Federal Labor Court (BAG) dealt with the requirements and limitations of overtime lump sum remuneration clauses in works agreements. So far, the decision is only available as a press release. FACTS OF THE CASE The plaintiff is a union secretary at the ver.di trade union. The parties have agreed a weekly working time of 35 hours and "trust-based working hours"...

No Expiry of Unreduced Vacation Entitlements during Parental Leave
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, September 2019

BAG of March 19 2019 - 9 AZR 495/17 The employer may reduce the vacation entitlement of a worker on parental leave by one twelfth for each full calendar month. If he does not exercise his right to reduce or if he can not prove the declaration of reduction, vacation entitlement does not expire during parental leave in accordance with Sec. 7 para. 3 BUrlG [German federal vacation law] at the end of the vacation year or the transfer period (31 March of each year)...

The Works Council has no Entitlement to the Provision of Personnel Turnover Statistics
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, September 2019

LAG Schleswig-Holstein of February 26 2019 - 2 TaBV 14/18 The works council has no entitlement to the Provision or Inspection of Personnel Turnover Statistics or Appendices thereto, if the Employer only uses these for Statistical Purposes and for Internal Controlling. The personnel turnover statistics in this case are not an instrument for personnel planning...

Exclusion of Fixed-Term Employees from a Remuneration Supplementation Violates EU Law
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, September 2019

The prohibition of discrimination against fixed-term employees has already been the subject of a large number of decisions by both the ECJ and the BAG [German Federal Labor Court]. According to these decisions, fixed-term workers may not receive poorer terms of employment compared to comparable permanent employees simply because of their fixed-term employment status. Rather, such would require substantive justification...

Search of a Company Computer by the Employer - Prohibition of Exploitation for Court Submissions?
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, September 2019

The German Federal Labor Court (BAG) ruled by judgment of January 31, 2019 (ref. no. 2 AZR 426/18) that, under certain circumstances, the employer may lawfully review data on an employee's work computer even if there is no suspicion based on factual evidence of a breach of duty. This applies to minor encroachments on personal rights, for example, in the case of actions carried out openly and restricted to files that are not marked as "private"...

Works Council’s Right to Information in Relation to Sensitive Personal Employee Data
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, September 2019

In its decision of 9 April 2019 (ref. no.: 1 ABR 51/17), the German Federal Labor Court (BAG) took position on the right of the works council to request information from the employer according to Section 80 (2) of the German Works Constitution Act (BetrVG) and clarified what data protection restrictions such a request is subject to...

The German Federal Ministry of Justice Submits a Proposal for a Corporate Sanctions Act
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, August 2019

The German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV) has submitted its long-awaited proposal for a Corporate Sanctions Act (VerSanG). When corporate crimes are committed, it is making provisions for independently prosecuting the entire organization in addition to prosecuting single perpetrators...

The Permissibility of GPS Tracking from a Compliance Perspective
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, August 2019

Strict data protection requirements apply to the use of location tracking systems both in the employment context and in cooperation with other companies. In its partial judgement from March 19, 2019, the Lüneburg Administrative Court ruled in compliance with the provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation and the new Federal Data Protection Act (BDSG) that unrestricted tracking of employee vehicles is impermissible...

CJEU Judgment on the Facebook Like Button - A New Chapter of Joint Controllership
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, August 2019

The Court of Justice of the European Union ("CJEU") published its long-awaited decision on the use of the Facebook Like-Button on July 29, 2019 (Case C-40/17). One major aspect of the judgment is the question to what extent Facebook and website operators who incorporate the Like-Button into their website are joint controllers under European data protection law. As a result, the CJEU affirms this question and takes a firm stand on the conditions for joint controllership...

Notice on the Recovery of State Aid
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, August 2019

If, in the course of an in-depth assessment, the EU Commission finds that an unlawfully granted aid is incompatible with the internal market, it is obliged under Article 16 of the Procedural Regulation 2015/1589 to order the recovery of the aid by the Member State. On 23 July 2019, the Commission published an updated notice on recovery (2019/C 247/01)...

Public Financing of Infrastructure
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, August 2019

Although under the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the European Commission has limited power regarding infrastructure policy, which remains a Member state competence, recent rulings of the ECJ regarding ports and airports have allowed it to extend its role in this area by applying the State aid rules to infrastructure financing...

Combating White Spots - Expansion of Mobile Networks
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, August 2019

Anyone in Germany who wants to make calls outside the city is sometimes not able to do so due to the numerous "white spots" in the mobile network infrastructure. In most areas of Germany, a comprehensive infrastructure is not guaranteed. An expansion by the telecommunications companies (TC) is also not foreseeable in the next three years. Therefore, many municipalities and administrative districts want to eliminate these "white spots" on their own...

Forfeiture of Vacation Entitlements - Part II
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, July 2019

In our newsletter article of March 2019, which was only based on press release No. 9/19 of the BAG [German Federal Labor Court] regarding the judgment of Feb. 19, 2019 - 9 AZR 541/15, we addressed the new case law of the BAG for informing the employer about existing vacation entitlements. In a similar case (also judgment of Feb...

 

 

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