Ms Eva Schäfer-Wallberg

Eva Schäfer-Wallberg

Updates

Employment & Benefits

Differentiation criteria in regulations concerning severance payments in social plans
Germany | 21 September 2016

A social plan usually contains provisions regarding the amount of severance payments paid to employees who lose their jobs. In practice, employees who are about to retire often receive lower severance payments than younger employees. The Federal Employment Court recently decided that this differentiation is not permitted if the employee is entitled to early retirement only because he or she is disabled.

Permissibility of eliminating bonus payments during an economic crisis
Germany | 21 August 2013

In the wake of the financial crisis, courts have frequently had to address whether an employer has the right to eliminate an employee's bonus, even if the employee has achieved his or her personal targets. For companies to avoid high bonus payments when financial results are poor, it should be clearly stipulated in the employment contract that financial results are the primary requirement for granting the bonus.

Breach of prohibition on competition – other earnings during garden leave
Germany | 20 March 2013

A recent Federal Labour Court decision dismissed a claim of a former employer to surrender the remuneration which the employee had received from a competitor. The court assumed that the contractual non-compete clause continued to apply during garden leave. The result of the decision means that the employer must continue to pay the employee, while the employee also draws a salary from the competitor.

Refunding legal costs and fines: risks and rights
Germany | 13 March 2013

Is it lawful for an employer to bear the costs of fines and legal defence for criminal proceedings against one of its employees for illegal acts committed in the context of his or her work? Does the employee have a right to have such costs refunded? An employer may have to consider these issues if an employee oversteps legal boundaries in the company's commercial interest.

Revoking the right to use a company car
Germany | 05 December 2012

The provision of a company car that is also for private use is a popular way of promoting employee loyalty. However, disputes often arise when the employer demands that the car be returned. Under what conditions is this possible, and must the employer observe a notice period?

Special legal status of key employees
Germany | 14 November 2012

Under employment law, key employees are subject to a number of special provisions which are beneficial to the employer. However, this does not automatically make all employees with managerial responsibilities key employees, because the statutory requirements attached to this status are very high.

Risks when remunerating works council members
Germany | 29 August 2012

Pursuant to the Works Council Constitution Act, works council members may not be given preferential treatment over other employees on the grounds of their activities. Granting prohibited economic benefits may have serious consequences, potentially leading to criminal charges for all parties.

Successful assertion of compensation claims with respect to employees
Germany | 25 July 2012

Compensation cases commenced by employers against employees normally succeed only if they are prepared in detail, on a sound basis, and if the employer has all evidence required to prove that the employee has acted wrongly. Suspending a compensation case in preference to a criminal law investigation rarely gives the employer the desired result.

White Collar Crime

Refunding legal costs and fines: risks and rights
Germany | 11 March 2013

Is it lawful for an employer to bear the costs of fines and legal defence for criminal proceedings against one of its employees for illegal acts committed in the context of his or her work? Does the employee have a right to have such costs refunded? An employer may have to consider these issues if an employee oversteps legal boundaries in the company's commercial interest.

Successful assertion of compensation claims with respect to employees
Germany | 23 July 2012

It can happen to any employer: certain employees turn out to be black sheep and their conduct, which may even be criminal, causes the company considerable economic loss. In such cases, the employer may not only dismiss the employee, but may also consider whether it can successfully claim damages and whether it would be helpful to file a criminal complaint with the Public Prosecutor's Office.