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Article

Access_open Big Data Ethics: A Life Cycle Perspective

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 1 2021
Keywords big data, big data analysis, data life cycle, ethics, AI
Authors Simon Vydra, Andrei Poama, Sarah Giest e.a.
AbstractAuthor's information

    The adoption of big data analysis in the legal domain is a recent but growing trend that highlights ethical concerns not just with big data analysis, as such, but also with its deployment in the legal domain. This article systematically analyses five big data use cases from the legal domain utilising a pluralistic and pragmatic mode of ethical reasoning. In each case we analyse what happens with data from its creation to its eventual archival or deletion, for which we utilise the concept of ‘data life cycle’. Despite the exploratory nature of this article and some limitations of our approach, the systematic summary we deliver depicts the five cases in detail, reinforces the idea that ethically significant issues exist across the entire big data life cycle, and facilitates understanding of how various ethical considerations interact with one another throughout the big data life cycle. Furthermore, owing to its pragmatic and pluralist nature, the approach is potentially useful for practitioners aiming to interrogate big data use cases.


Simon Vydra
Simon Vydra is a Researcher at the Institute for Public Administration, Leiden University, the Netherlands.

Andrei Poama
Andrei Poama is Assistant Professor at the Institute for Public Administration, Leiden University, the Netherlands.

Sarah Giest
Sarah Giest is Assistant Professor at the Institute for Public Administration, Leiden University, the Netherlands.

Alex Ingrams
Alex Ingrams is Assistant Professor at the Institute for Public Administration, Leiden University, the Netherlands.

Bram Klievink
Bram Klievink is Professor of Digitization and Public Policy at the Institute for Public Administration, Leiden University, the Netherlands.

    On 13 December 2019 the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Court held that a national provision that renders a father’s entitlement to parental benefits during a shared period of leave dependent on the mother’s situation, but not vice versa, fell outside the scope of Directive 2006/54/EC (the Equal Treatment Directive) since it did not concern “employment and working conditions” within the meaning of Article 14(1)(c) of that Directive. The action brought by the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) was thus dismissed. The Court consequently did not consider whether the Norwegian rules amounted to unlawful discrimination under the Directive. Furthermore, no assessment was made as to the potential breach with the general principle of equality of gender under EEA law, as this had not been pleaded by ESA.


Jonas Thorsdalen Wik
Jonas Thorsdalen Wik is an attorneys-at-law at Hjort Law Firm (Oslo, Norway).

Dag Sørlie Lund
Dag Sørlie Lund is an attorneys-at-law at Hjort Law Firm (Oslo, Norway).

    Applying the ECJ’s Maschek judgment, the Zutphen subdistrict court has found that an employee was not entitled to an allowance in lieu of untaken paid annual leave at the end of the employment relationship, as she had already received special leave. Moreover, the obligation to inform the employee concerning the right to (exercise) paid annual leave did not rest upon the employer.


Lisa de Vries
Lisa de Vries is a student at Erasmus School of Law and Editorial Assistant of EELC.

Jan-Pieter Vos
Jan-Pieter Vos is Labour Law teacher and PhD candidate at Erasmus School of Law and editor of EELC.

    The notice of collective redundancies required to be given to an employment agency pursuant to Section 17(1) of the German Protection Against Unfair Dismissal Act (Kündigungsschutzgesetz, ‘KSchG’) can only be effectively submitted if the employer has already decided to terminate the employment contract at the time of its receipt by the employment agency. Notices of termination in collective redundancy proceedings are therefore effective – subject to the fulfilment of any other notice requirements – if the proper notice is received by the competent employment agency before the employee has received the letter of termination.


Marcus Bertz
Marcus Bertz is an attorney-at-law at Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH.
Case Reports

2020/22 Works council’s right to inspect remuneration lists (GE)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 2 2020
Keywords Information and Consultation, Privacy
Authors Robert Pacholski
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht, “BAG”) has held that a works council must be provided with the documents necessary for carrying out its duties at any time on request. A works committee or another committee of the works council formed in accordance with the provisions of the Works Constitution Act (Betriebsverfassungsgesetz, “BetrVG”) is entitled to inspect the lists of gross wages. This right to inspect is not limited to anonymized gross pay lists. Data protection considerations do not dictate that the right is limited to anonymized gross payrolls. The processing of personal data associated with the right of inspection is permitted under the European General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) and the German Federal Data Protection Act (Bundesdatenschutzgesetz, “BDSG”).


Robert Pacholski
Robert Pacholski is an attorney-at-law at Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH.
Case Reports

2020/38 Supreme Court rules on the principle of continuity of civil service law in connection with a transfer of undertaking (FI)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 3 2020
Keywords Transfer of Undertakings, Employees Who Transfer, Dismissal/Severance Payment
Authors Janne Nurminen
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Finnish Supreme Court has overturned a Court of Appeal decision regarding a transfer of a municipal civil servant to a company during the privatization of a public utility company. The Supreme Court held that an employment relationship had not been established between the transferee and the unlawfully dismissed municipal civil servant despite the principle of continuity of civil service law. The concrete actions of the transferee had an important role in defining that no employment relationship had been constituted between the dismissed municipal civil servant and the private company.


Janne Nurminen
Janne Nurminen is a Senior Associate with Roschier, Attorneys Ltd in Helsinki, www.roschier.com.
Case Reports

2020/34 Challenge to validity of Workplace Relations Act 2015 unsuccessful (IR)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 3 2020
Keywords Unfair Dismissal, Fair Trial, Miscellaneous
Authors Orla O’Leary
AbstractAuthor's information

    A recent challenge to the constitutionality of the Irish Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) has failed. The applicant in the case at hand argued that the WRC was unconstitutional for two reasons: (a) that the WRC carries out the administration of justice in breach of the general constitutional rule that only the courts may administer justice; and (b) several of the statutory procedures of the WRC were so deficient that they failed to vindicate the applicant’s personal constitutional rights. The High Court of Ireland dismissed both arguments.


Orla O’Leary
Orla O’Leary is a Senior Associate at Mason Hayes & Curran.

    The Austrian Supreme Court has confirmed that an employer must pay compensation to an employee due to a violation of the employee’s privacy. The employer implemented a GPS system in its company cars without the employee’s knowledge and without legal basis.


Lukas Disarò
Lukas Disarò is an Attorney-at-Law at law Firm MMag. Gregor Winkelmayr, MBA, LL.M (Essex).

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Thomas Dullinger
Univ.-Ass. Mag. Thomas Dullinger is associated with Institut für Arbeits- und Sozialrecht, Universität Wien.
Case Reports

2020/8 Right of temporary workers to the same pay for the same work (LT)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 1 2020
Keywords Temporary agency work, Other forms of discrimination
Authors Vida Petrylaitė
AbstractAuthor's information

    On 20 June 2019, Vilnius Regional Court in Lithuania (instance of appeal) delivered a decision in a case where the applicants claimed that a temporary employment agency, UAB Manpower Lit (the ‘Agency’), which recruited temporary workers (‘claimants’) for the European Institute for Gender Equality (‘EIGE’), paid them lower salaries than permanent staff. It was ruled that the Agency had discriminated against these workers by paying them lower salaries than they would have received if they had been recruited directly by EIGE. The Court also ordered the payment of pay arrears for a certain period to the temporary staff.


Vida Petrylaitė
Vida Petrylaitė is an associate professor at Vilnius University.
Case Reports

2019/34 Reduction of annual leave during parental leave is lawful (GE)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 3 2019
Keywords Maternity and parental leave
Authors Nina Stephan and David Meyer
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Higher Labour Court of Berlin-Brandenburg (Landesarbeitsgericht (LAG)) has held that the pro rata reduction of annual leave depending on the period of parental leave is lawful. In general, statutory holiday entitlement also exists for the period of parental leave. However, the employer has the right to reduce leave pro rata for each full month of parental leave according to Section 17 paragraph 1 sentence 1 of the Federal Parental Allowances and Parental Leave Act (Bundeselterngeld- und Elternzeitgesetz (BEEG)). The proportional reduction is in line with European law.


Nina Stephan
Nina Stephan is an attorney-at-law at Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH.

David Meyer
David Meyer is an attorney-at-law at Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH.

    The Luxembourg Court of Appeal (Cour d’appel de Luxembourg) confirmed that an employee dismissed with notice and exempted from performing their work during the notice period is no longer bound by the non-competition duties arising from their loyalty obligation and can therefore engage in an employment contract with a direct competitor of their former employer during that exempted notice period. However, the Court of Appeal decided that, even if the former employee is in principle entitled to use the know-how and knowledge they acquired with their former employer, the poaching of clients during the notice period must, due to the facts and circumstances and in the light of the rules applicable in the financial sector, be considered as an unfair competition act and therefore constitutes serious misconduct justifying the termination of the employment contract with immediate effect.


Michel Molitor
Michel Molitor is the managing partner of MOLITOR Avocats à la Cour SARL in Luxembourg, www.molitorlegal.lu.

Régis Muller
Régis Muller is partner within the Employment, Pension & Immigration department of MOLITOR Avocats à la Cour SARL in Luxembourg, www.molitorlegal.lu.

    The German Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht, the ‘BAG’) has held that pre-employment as a freelancer must be taken into account in relation to the number of years having been with a firm as a freelancer when assessing the legality of a fixed-term contract due to the character of the specific deployment.


Sean Illing
Sean Illing is an Associate Solicitor at Lewis Silkin LLP.

    The German Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht, the ‘BAG’) has held that pre-employment as a freelancer must be taken into account in relation to the number of years having been with a firm as a freelancer when assessing the legality of a fixed-term contract due to the character of the specific deployment.


Othmar Traber
Othmar K. Traber is a partner at Ahlers & Vogel Rechtsanwälte PartG mbB in Bremen, www.ahlers-vogel.com.

Daniel Hilmer
Daniel Hilmer is an intern at Ahlers & Vogel Rechtsanwälte PartG mbB in Bremen, www.ahlers-vogel.com.

    The Latvian Supreme Court recently used the ECJ Max Planck and Kreuziger judgments to explain how an employer can escape its obligation to compensate an employee for unused leave at the end of the employment relationship. The employer must prove that (a) it was possible for the employee to use the leave, and (b) the employer has in good time informed the employee that leave, if not used, might be lost and will not be compensated.


Andis Burkevics
Andis Burkevics is a senior associate with the Latvian office of law firm SORAINEN, www.sorainen.com.
Case Reports

2019/21 Supreme Court rules on liability distribution between transferor and transferee (FI)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 2 2019
Keywords Transfer of Undertakings, Dismissal/Severance Payment
Authors Janne Nurminen
AbstractAuthor's information

    A municipal federation took back a nursing home operation it had previously outsourced to a contractor. The Finnish Supreme Court held that a transfer of undertaking had taken place and the municipal federation (transferee) was liable to pay the employee compensation for the unlawful termination of the employment contract. Further, the Supreme Court held that the employee had also without a justifiable reason directed the claim for compensation towards the employer company (transferor/the old contractor) and for that reason was liable to pay the legal costs of the employer company.


Janne Nurminen
Janne Nurminen is a Senior Associate with Roschier, Attorneys Ltd in Helsinki, www.roschier.com.
Case Reports

2019/5 For how long may data of a job applicant be stored? (AT)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 1 2019
Keywords Privacy, Discrimination, General
Authors Sophie Mantler and Andreas Tinhofer
AbstractAuthor's information

    A provision of Dutch law, according to which employees who lose their jobs upon retirement are excluded from the right to statutory severance compensation, is not in breach of the Framework Directive.


Sophie Mantler
Sophie Mantler is a senior associate and

Andreas Tinhofer
Andreas Tinhofer is a partner at MOSATI Rechtsanwälte in Vienna (www.mosati.at).

    The Iasi Court of Appeal has held that a request for resignation completed and signed after various forms of pressure from the employee’s superiors does not represent a termination of an individual labour agreement on the initiative of the employee, but a constructive dismissal.


Andreea Suciu
Andreea Suciu is the managing partner at Suciu | The Employment Law Firm.

    The Finnish Supreme Court held that a transfer of undertaking had taken place in a situation where no contract of transfer was concluded.


Janne Nurminen
Janne Nurminen is a Senior Associate with Roschier, Attorneys Ltd in Helsinki, www.roschier.com
Case Reports

2019/9 The right to object against a transfer in case of incorrect information is not unlimited (GE)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 1 2019
Keywords Transfer of undertaking, Employees who transfer/refuse to transfer
Authors Nina Stephan
AbstractAuthor's information

    According to German law, every employee has the right to object to the transfer of their employment relationship to the transferee in the case of a transfer of business. However, the right to object is not unlimited. The Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht (‘BAG’)) held that an employee who had worked for the transferee for seven years had lost this right if they had been informed about the transfer.


Nina Stephan
Nina Stephan is an attorney-at-law at Luther Rechtsanwaltgesellschaft mbH
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