Employment & Benefits, Graf & Pitkowitz updates

Austria

Contributed by Graf & Pitkowitz
Supreme Court rules on sexual harassment and vicarious liability
  • Austria
  • March 14 2012

In two recent decisions the Supreme Court clarified employer liability for harassment perpetrated by employees. The decision demonstrates that sexual harassment by the employer can also be perpetrated by the victim's superior. In such case the employer will be (vicariously) liable even where the harassment was the first such conduct of its kind.

Supreme Court rules on termination indemnity and old-age pensions
  • Austria
  • November 30 2011

The Supreme Court recently clarified that the termination indemnity for commercial agents can be forfeited if an agent has terminated the agency contract for retirement reasons other than reaching the regular retirement age. Agents would be well advised to consider the implications for their termination indemnity and principals have been granted yet another reason to avoid payment of the indemnity once an agent retires.

Restrictive covenants: court rules on enforceability of non-compete clauses
  • Austria
  • September 14 2011

Austrian law allows employers and employees to enter into non-compete agreements. The law distinguishes between restrictions of competing activities during employment and restrictive covenants pertaining to post-termination periods. Whether a restrictive covenant on post-termination periods is enforceable depends on how, and by whom, the employment relationship was terminated.

Primer on dismissals, redundancies and severance pay
  • Austria
  • June 15 2011

In order to carry out dismissals and mass terminations, the Austrian legal regime requires the employer to give prior notification to the appropriate agency and observe the relevant terms. Additionally, the regime provides for staggered severance pay, increasing with seniority, if the termination of employment is not initiated or primarily caused by the employee.

Supreme Court rules on 'mystery flyers'
  • Austria
  • February 23 2011

The Supreme Court recently clarified the scope of a works council's right to freedom of information under the Labour Relations Act. The employer, an airline, intended to evaluate its quality of service using so-called 'mystery flyers'. The information gathered was passed on to the airlines works council, which made several inquiries, requesting further information.


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