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    The Greek Supreme Court, in a case about the transfer of a business and the obligation on the transferee to continue employing the transferred employees, underlined the importance of a thorough and genuine control on all factors to be taken into consideration in order to conclude on the existence of a transfer of undertaking or not: the business transferred must retain an autonomous economic identity, in the sense that the functional link between the different factors transferred is retained, thus allowing the new entity to use them in order to exercise an economic activity identical or similar to the previous one.


Effie Mitsopoulou
Effie Mitsopoulou is an attorney-at-law at Effie Mitsopoulou Law Office.
Case Reports

2020/18 Prohibition of dismissal of pregnant employee (RO)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 2 2020
Keywords Gender discrimination
Authors Andreea Suciu and Teodora Mănăilă
AbstractAuthor's information

    Analysing the national legal framework in relation to the protection of pregnant employees and employees who have recently given birth or are breastfeeding, provisions which transposed the regulations of Directive 92/85/EEC and of the conclusions in case C-103/16, Jessica Porras Guisado – v – Bankia S.A. and Others, the Constitutional Court of Romania ascertained that the dismissal prohibition of a pregnant employee is strictly restricted to reasons that have a direct connection with the employee’s pregnancy status. As for other cases where the termination of the employment contract is the result of disciplinary misconduct, unexcused absence from work, non-observance of labour discipline, or termination of employment for economic reasons or collective redundancies, the employer must submit in writing well-reasoned grounds for dismissal.


Andreea Suciu
Andreea Suciu is Managing Partner and attorney-at-law at Suciu | The Employment Law Firm, Bucharest, Romania.

Teodora Mănăilă
Teodora Mănăilă is Managing Partner and attorney-at-law at Suciu | The Employment Law Firm, Bucharest, Romania.

    The Greek Supreme Court in Plenary Session, in a long-awaited decision, has ruled that an employee who has not been able to exercise his right to annual leave due to long-term sick leave is still entitled to his paid annual leave as well as to annual leave allowance.


Effie Mitsopoulou
Effie Mitsopoulou is an attorney-at-law at Effie Mitsopoulou Law Office.

    Within the context of a transfer of undertaking in an asset reliant group of companies, the court should not just focus on whether the assets have been transferred between the two separate group companies, but also on whether one group company had actual control over the operation of the other group company.


Zef Even
Zef Even is a partner at SteensmaEven, Rotterdam, professor at Erasmus School of Law and editor-in-chief of EELC.

Eva Poutsma
Eva Poutsma is an attorney-at-law at SteensmaEven, Rotterdam.

    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 Supreme Court of the Netherlands has quashed a verdict of the Court of Appeal that held that a social plan provision stipulating the capping of a redundancy allowance in view of an entitlement to early retirement pension was invalid because of age discrimination. According to the Supreme Court, a more marginal justification test should have been applied to a social plan. The Court of Appeal, moreover, did not consider all the legitimate aims it specified and should also have taken additional social plan measures as well as pension measures from the past into account. By not doing so, it was not properly examined whether the social plan constituted age discrimination.


Albertine Veldman
Albertine Veldman is a lecturer in European and Dutch labour law at Utrecht University, The Netherlands.
Case Reports

2020/14 Sickness absence related to employee’s disability (DK)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 2 2020
Keywords Disability Discrimination, Unfair Dismissal
Authors Christian K. Clasen
AbstractAuthor's information

    Recently, the Danish Eastern High Court found that an employee’s sickness absence was a result of the employer’s failure to comply with its obligation to offer reasonable accommodation for the employee’s disability. For that reason the employee, who was dismissed in pursuance of the Danish ‘120-day rule’, was entitled to compensation for unfair dismissal under the Danish Anti-Discrimination Act.


Christian K. Clasen
Christian K. Clasen is a partner at Norrbom Vinding, Copenhagen.

    The Supreme Court has allowed an appeal by one of the UK’s major supermarket chains, overturning a finding that it was vicariously liable for a rogue employee’s deliberate disclosure of payroll data related to some 100,000 co-workers, of whom 10,000 brought a group claim for damages.


Richard Lister
Richard Lister is a Managing Practice Development Lawyer at Lewis Silkin LLP.

    The dismissal of an employee for gross misconduct was unfair because the investigating officer failed to share significant new information with the manager conducting the disciplinary hearing who decided to dismiss, the Employment Appeal Tribunal has ruled.


Ludivine Gegaden
Ludivine Gegaden is an Associate at Lewis Silkin LLP.

    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.

    In a recent Supreme Court decision, it was held by a 4-1 majority that there is no reason, in principle, why the provision of ‘reasonable accommodation’ for an employee with a disability should not involve the redistribution of duties.


Orla O’Leary
Orla O’Leary is an attorney-at-law at Mason Hayes & Curran, Dublin.

    The Belgian Court of Cassation (Supreme Court), in a decision of 20 January 2020, has ruled that the prohibition for an employer to terminate the employment relationship of a worker for reasons related to a complaint for acts of violence and/or moral and/or sexual harassment at work does not, however, preclude the dismissal from being justified by motives inferred from the facts set out in the complaint.


Gautier Busschaert
Gautier Busschaert is an attorney-at-law at Van Olmen & Wynant, Brussels.

    The Federal Labour Court of Germany (Bundesarbeitsgericht, ‘BAG’) has decided that a social plan that distinguished between employees who were born in 1960 or later and employees who were born before 1960 for the calculation of severance payment did not constitute unjustified age discrimination. However, a regulation in a social plan which referred to the “earliest possible” entitlement to a statutory pension when calculating the severance payment constituted unjustified indirect discrimination against disabled persons.


Iness Gutt
Ines Gutt 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.
Article

Access_open The Obligation of Judges to Uphold Rules of Positive Law and Possibly Conflicting Ethical Values in Context

The Case of Criminalization of Homelessness in Hungary

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2020
Keywords Judicial independence, Rule of law, Judicial ethics, Hungary, Criminalization of homelessness
Authors Petra Gyöngyi
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article examines the tension between the constitutional obligation of judges to uphold rules of positive law and possibly conflicting standards of conduct arising from professional-ethical values. The theoretical analysis will be illustrated by the case of Hungary, an EU member state experiencing rule of law challenges since 2010 and where the 2018-2019 criminalization of homelessness exemplifies the studied tension. Inspired by the theories of Philip Selznick and Martin Krygier, rule of law will be viewed as a value that requires progressive realization and context-specific implementation. By contextualizing the relevant Hungarian constitutional framework with the content of the judicial code of ethics and judicial practice, it will be shown how the legitimate space for Hungarian judges to distance themselves from legislation possibly in conflict with rule of law values is reduced. Theoretical suggestions for addressing such rule of law regressions will be made.


Petra Gyöngyi
Petra Gyöngyi is postdoctoral fellow aan de University of Oslo.
Article

The Development of Human Rights Diplomacy Since the Establishment of the UN

More Actors, More Efficiency?

Journal Hungarian Yearbook of International Law and European Law, Issue 1 2020
Keywords human rights, diplomacy, international organizations, NGOs, corporate social responsibility
Authors István Lakatos
AbstractAuthor's information

    This study gives a comprehensive picture of the development of human rights diplomacy since the establishment of the UN, focusing on the dilemmas governments are facing regarding their human-rights-related decisions and demonstrating the changes that occurred during the post-Cold War period, both in respect of the tools and participants in this field. Special attention is given to the role of international organizations, and in particular to the UN in this process, and the new human rights challenges the international community must address in order to maintain the relevance of human rights diplomacy.


István Lakatos
István Lakatos: career diplomat, former human rights ambassador of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, currently senior adviser of the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights of Montenegro.

Anett Pogácsás
Anett Pogácsás: senior lecturer, Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Budapest; member of the Hungarian Council of Copyright Experts.
Article

The Elusive Quest for Digital Exhaustion in the US and the EU

The CJEU’s Tom Kabinet Ruling a Milestone or Millstone for Legal Evolution?

Journal Hungarian Yearbook of International Law and European Law, Issue 1 2020
Keywords digital exhaustion, Tom Kabinet, UsedSoft, ReDigi, copyright law
Authors Shubha Ghosh and Péter Mezei
AbstractAuthor's information

    The CJEU published its much-awaited preliminary ruling in Case C-263/18 - Nederlands Uitgeversverbond and Groep Algemene Uitgevers (the Tom Kabinet case) in December 2019. Our paper aims to introduce the Tom Kabinet ruling and discuss its direct and indirect consequences in copyright law. The Tom Kabinet ruling has seriously limited (in fact, outruled) the resale of lawfully acquired e-books. It left various questions unanswered, and thus missed the opportunity to provide for clarity and consistency in digital copyright law. Our analysis addresses how the CJEU deferred from its own logic developed in the UsedSoft decision on the resale of lawfully acquired computer programs, and how the CJEU’s conservative approach ultimately missed the opportunity to reach a compromise ruling. The paper further introduces the US approach that has a strong distinction between selling and making with respect to the research of exhaustion. We aim to trace how this distinction rests on the statutory basis for exhaustion (in copyright) and common law basis (in patent and trademark law) and compare these findings with the CJEU’s recent interpretation of exhaustion. Our focus will be on the Supreme Court’s decisions in Kirstaeng and Bowman and lower court decisions that examine technological solutions to facilitate resale. We examine how the US approach adopts a rigid approach that might inhibit technological development in digital markets, an approach with parallels in the Tom Kabinet ruling. In conclusion, we assess whether there is convergence between the two sides of the Atlantic or whether there is a path of innovative legal development that reconciles the various precedents.


Shubha Ghosh
Shubha Ghosh: Crandall Melvin professor of law, Syracuse University, US.

Péter Mezei
Péter Mezei: associate professor of law, University of Szeged; adjunct professor (dosentti), University of Turku, Finland.
Article

The ECtHR’s Grand Chamber Judgment in Ilias and Ahmed Versus Hungary: A Practical and Realistic Approach

Can This Paradigm Shift Lead the Reform of the Common European Asylum System?

Journal Hungarian Yearbook of International Law and European Law, Issue 1 2020
Keywords ECHR, Hungarian transit zone, deprivation of liberty, concept of safe third country, Common European Asylum System
Authors Ágnes Töttős
AbstractAuthor's information

    The judgment of the Grand Chamber of the ECtHR in Ilias and Ahmed v. Hungary reflected a big turn of the ECtHR towards a practical and realistic approach. Although the Grand Chamber found that Hungary by choosing to use inadmissibility grounds and expel the applicants to Serbia failed to carry out a thorough assessment of the Serbian asylum system, including the risk of summary removal, contrary to the Chamber it found that a confinement of 23 days in 2015 did not constitute a de facto deprivation of liberty. This paradigm shift is already visible in further decisions of the Court, and it could even serve as a basis for a new direction when reforming the Common European Asylum System.


Ágnes Töttős
Ágnes Töttős: lecturer, Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Budapest; JHA counselor responsible for migration and asylum issues at the Permanent Representation of Hungary to the EU, Brussels.
Article

Increasing Access to Justice through Online Dispute Resolution

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2020
Keywords ODR, fairness, disability, accommodation, accessibility
Authors Wendy Carlson
AbstractAuthor's information

    Online dispute resolution has been posed as a way to further increase access to justice. This article explores the concept of using ODR to increase both ‘access’ and ‘justice’ within the dispute resolution system. The concept of increasing access to the dispute resolution system includes a wide variety of ideas: providing dynamic avenues into the legal process to better serve more people, particularly those with physical disabilities, increasing accessibility to low-income communities and ensuring the platform can be used by non-native English speakers. ODR provides the potential to greatly impact the court system by making the court process more efficient and accurate. While there is great value in integrating ODR into the dispute resolution system, the ODR system itself creates a variety of barriers. In order to effectively increase access to justice through ODR, the ODR system must be developed to maximize ‘accessibility’. The second prong to this discussion explores the concept of ‘justice’ within the context of ODR. Critics of ODR purport that the system values efficiency over justice. This article analyses the legitimacy of ODR as a judicial system through three key factors: representation of individual views, neutrality in decision-making, and trust.


Wendy Carlson
Juris Doctor Candidate, Mitchell Hamline School of Law.
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