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Firm: Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek

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Fine Practices of the Data Protection Supervisory Authorities Under Scrutiny
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, November 2020

The German Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (BfDI) sees the decision as a success: On November 11, 2020, the District Court of Bonn reduced the fine imposed on 1&1 Telekom GmbH for a data protection breach from an original EUR 9.55 million to EUR 990,000.00, thereby fundamentally calling into question the fine practices of the German supervisory authorities...

Home Office - A Risk for Privacy and Cyber Security? What Companies Need To Do
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, November 2020

The Coronavirus pandemic has caused a shift in the paradigm of modern-day workplaces. Companies across the globe have seen a rapid and widespread shift to remote work, making compliance with the GDPR harder than ever. The Federal Office of Information Security (BSI), in its recent report on the ‘State of IT Security in Germany 2020’, expressed its concern and indicated a ‘tense situation’ for data protection in the country...

German Insolvency Law: COVID-19-Suspension of Duty to File for Insolvency Ended on 30 September 2020 for Illiquid Companies
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, October 2020

Over-indebted companies still exempted from filing duty until 31 December 2020COVID-19-affected companies to benefit from easier access to protective shield proceedings and preventive restructuring schemes/ regimes as from 1 January 2021 Two German legislative initiatives taken in September 2020 will have an immediate impact on the options available to restructure a business under German law: DUTY TO FILE FOR INSOLVENCY RE-INSTATED FOR ILLIQUID COMPANIES AS OF 1 OCTOBER 2020; SUSPENSIO

Contractual Reference to a Collective Agreement
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, September 2020

BAG, ruling dated May 13, 2020, 4 AZR 528/19 The employee's remuneration, referred to in an employment contract as "collectively agreed salary" is to be understood as a "dynamic reference clause". If a reference "to the collective agreements applicable for the Company" has been agreed upon in the employment contract, this reference is limited to the binding collective agreements applicable for the employer at the time the contract is concluded...

Employees Duties of Conduct in the Privacy in Times of Corona
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, September 2020

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the media has repeatedly reported about terminations by the employer, which are based on the fact that employees did not adhere to corona measures during their leisure time, for example because they took part in large anti-corona demonstrations and disregarded the distance rule or were associated with anti-constitutional ideas...

First Draft Bill Implementing EU Directive 2019/1023 on Preventive Restructuring Frameworks and Improving the Instruments Introduced by ESUG in 2012, with a Focus on Self-Administration
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, September 2020

BUSINESS STABILIZATION AND RESTRUCTURING ACT (STARUG) On 18 September 2020, the German Federal Department of Justice published a first draft bill for the implementation of the EU Directive 2019/1023 on preventive restructuring frameworks of 20 June 2019 (the „Draft Bill“)...

Following the European Court of Justice Judgement Regarding the Privacy Shield - Data Protection Authority Publishes Recommended Actions for Practice
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, September 2020

In July 2020, the European Court of Justice (C-311/18, "Schrems II") declared the EU-US Privacy Shield as invalid as the legal basis for the transfer of personal data to the USA and increased the requirements on the EU standard contractual clauses...

The Term Company in the Context of Collective Redundancies
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, August 2020

BAG dated February 13, 2020 - 6 AZR 146/19 ("Air Berlin") In the context of collective redundancies, the term "company" is a legal term under European Union (EU) law and, with regard to the responsible employment agency, it focus particularly on the local effects of the intended dismissals. In the EU legal system, the term "company" is to be interpreted autonomously, uniformly and detached from the national understanding of the term...

No Obligation for the Employer to use the German Language
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, August 2020

Regional Court of Nuremberg, decision of June 18, 2020 - 1 TaBV 33/19 The Regional Labor Court (Landesarbeitsgericht - LAG) of Nuremberg had to rule on a motion by a works council, in which the latter demanded that the discussions held with it be conducted only in German. At the same time, it demanded that all communication between the branch management and the employees be conducted in German. The Regional Court rejected both motions of the works council...

The New White Paper - EU Combats Distortions of Competition by Third States
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, August 2020

In June, the European Commission has published the "White Paper on levelling the playing field as regards foreign subsidies". For the first time that the European Commission has brought together State aid and investment control as well as trade defence instruments. Companies coming from third countries can expect costly and lengthy examination procedures in M&A transactions, but also new hurdles for other activities in the internal market...

Entitlement of the Employee to Postpone the Already Approved Holiday in Corona Times
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, August 2020

The summer holidays have already begun in most of the federal states or are about to begin. Due to the Corona pandemic, most holiday plans could not be realized during the Easter holidays. Although the travel warnings for most countries in the EU were lifted in time for the summer holidays, it is still not possible to enjoy "normal" holidays this year...

New Hires Despite Short-Time Work?
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, August 2020

Due to the Corona pandemic and the associated economic effects, numerous companies were forced to announce short-time work over the past few months. This raises the question for employers to what extent it is still possible to hire during short-time work and what effects this has on short-time working compensation. NEW HIRES DURING SHORT-TIME WORK First of all, a distinction must be made between new hires before and after the introduction of short-time work...

Support for Computer Games through de minimis Aid
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, August 2020

The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) is providing EUR 50 million annually until 2023 to promote computer games in order to strengthen Germany as a location for developers. In the first phase,de minimis funding will be provided with grants of up to EUR 200,000. In a second phase larger-scale funding will also be possible...

Returning from Home Office - What Employers Have to Consider
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, August 2020

When the corona pandemic broke out, many employers allowed their employees to work in home office or even forced them to do so. In the meantime, many uncertainties have been clarified and the desire for normality is increasing among both employers and employees. Therefore, in the following, we will describe what employers must take into account when employees return from home office. 1...

EU Recovery Prospectus – Planned Facilitation of the Equity Issuance Through an Abridged Securities Prospectus
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, August 2020

In order to tackle the effects of the Corona crisis, it is planned at EU level to temporarily facilitate the raising of equity capital for companies. This will enable certain issuers to publish a shortened prospectus with only 30 pages instead of a full prospectus to issue shares. Through this, issuers will have the option to issue shares at short notice, without bureaucracy and inexpensively, thereby improving the debt-to-equity ratio in their balance sheets...

Solution to the Cookie Chaos? - Planned Overhaul of Data Protection Regulations in the Telemedia and Telekommunikations Sector
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, August 2020

In July, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) compiled a draft law on data protection and the protection of privacy in the context of electronic communication and telemedia (the “Telecommunications and Telemedia Data Protection Act” [Telekommunikations-Telemedien-Datenschutz-Gesetz],“TTDSG”) – which has not yet been officially published...

No Entitlement to Continued Remuneration in Quarantine After Holiday in a Risk Area
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, August 2020

Summertime is holiday time. Although the worldwide travel warning issued by the Federal Foreign Office for some European countries was lifted on 15 June 2020, currently (as of 17 July 2020, 5:30 p.m.) 130 countries are still classified as risk areas. These include Turkey and the USA, which are popular destinations for German holidaymakers...

Use of the Corona Waning App in Companies
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, August 2020

The Corona Warning App, commissioned by the German Federal Government, has been available for download since June 16, 2020. The availability of the app raises numerous employment-law issues...

EU Recovery Prospectus - Planned Facilitation of the Equity Issuance through an Abridged Securities Prospectus
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, August 2020

In order to tackle the effects of the Corona crisis, it is planned at EU level to temporarily facilitate the raising of equity capital for companies. This will enable certain issuers to publish a shortened prospectus with only 30 pages instead of a full prospectus to issue shares. Through this, issuers will have the option to issue shares at short notice, without bureaucracy and inexpensively, thereby improving the debt-to-equity ratio in their balance sheets...

Data Processing Errors in Prize Draws by AOK Baden-Württemberg Results in Seven-Figure Fine
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, July 2020

The Baden-Württemberg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (LfDI) has imposed a fine of €1,240,000 on the AOK Baden-Württemberg health insurance provider. The reason? Data processing errors related to prize draws it ran: the health insurance provider had not obtained the valid consent for data processing of prize draw entrants in 500 cases. An internal whistleblower notified the LfDI about the breach...

ECJ Throws Out Privacy Shield Agreement but Confirms Standard Contractual Clauses
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, July 2020

Today (16 July 2020), the ECJ handed down its long-awaited judgment on the validity of Standard Contractual Clauses in international data transfers (ECJ, judgment of 16 July 2020, case C-311/18). In a surprise move the Court of Justice declared the EU Commission's adequacy decision on the Privacy Shield - the agreement that allows data transfers to certain companies in the USA - to be invalid. On the other hand it confirmed the validity of the Standard Contractual Clauses...

Berlin Data Protection Authority Criticizes Commissioned Data Processing Aspects of Microsoft Office 365
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, July 2020

On July 3, 2020, Berlin’s commissioner for data protection and freedom of information published Advice on providers of videoconferencing services. This advice looked closely at the contractual terms and conditions of the providers Cisco, Google, Zoom, and Microsoft...

EU Commission Approves Economic Stabilization Fund for Liquidity and Capital Support for the Real Economy
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, July 2020

By adopting the Act on the Establishment of the Economic Stabilization Fund of March 27, 2020, the German Parliament and the Federal Council established theEconomic Stabilization Fund(“ESF”) as a special fund to stabilize the real economy in times of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ESF is intended to support German companies in the real economy suffering from the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic by providing liquidity and capital support...

Public Financial Aid for Start-Ups in the Corona Crisis
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, July 2020

The German government launched an aid program to support start-ups and young growth companies in the corona crisis aimed at providing start-ups with liquidity quickly. One of the pillars of this program is the Corona Matching Facility (CMF), where KfW Capital and the European Investment Fund (EIF) are “matching” investments of private venture capital funds (VC funds). The aid is therefore linked to the investments of VC funds...

Does E-Mail Communication Need to be Encrypted?
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, July 2020

Setting the right standard to ensure compliance with the technical and organizational safeguards for data security required under Art. 32 GDPR is a challenge for many companies when it comes to electronic communications – not least e-mail. The German Conference of Independent German Federal and State Data Protection Supervisory Authorities (DSK) has issued guidance on the topic. The guidance represents a majority resolution of the German states, with Bavaria dissenting...

 

 

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