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    The Polish Supreme Court has held that a criterion of discrimination may also be a relationship of a social or familial nature that exists in the workplace and whose existence or absence on the part of the employee results in different treatment by the employer.


Marcin Wujczyk
Marcin Wujczyk is an attorney at law at Wardyński & Partners, Poland (https://www.wardynski.com.pl).

    This was a case alleging detrimental treatment for whistleblowing brought by an employee working outside the UK against two co-workers also working abroad in the same location. The Court of Appeal (CA) ruled that there was no jurisdiction for the Employment Tribunal (ET) to hear the claim in relation to personal liability of the co-workers because they were outside the scope of UK employment law. The CA’s judgment potentially has implications for other types of claim brought by UK employees posted abroad where similar personal liability provisions apply, such as discrimination and harassment.


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

    A number of collective labour agreements unjustifiably have excluded allowances from holiday pay. Recently, social partners have had difficulties in repairing these flaws. Two recent cases demonstrate this, both similar claims but with different outcomes. This leaves social partners with the problem of how to proceed.


Jan-Pieter Vos
Jan-Pieter Vos is a lecturer of Labour Law at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands and editor of EELC.

    In two appeal cases considered jointly, the Court of Appeal (CA) has ruled that it is not direct or indirect sex discrimination, nor a breach of equal pay rights, to provide enhanced pay for maternity leave and statutory pay only for shared parental leave (SPL).


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

    The author discusses the recent ECJ judgments in the cases Egenberger and IR on religious discrimination.


Andrzej Marian Świątkowski
Andrzej Marian Świątkowski, is a Jean Monet Professor of European Labour Law and Social Security, Jesuit University Ignatianum, Krakow, Poland and a member of the EELC Academic Board.
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 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.


Gautier Busschaert
Gautier Busschaert is an Attorney at Van Olmen & Wynant.

    The decision pronounced by the first instance court related to the right of professional foster parents to request payment in lieu of untaken annual leave based on ECJ case law has been overruled by the Court of Appeal by making reference to a different ECJ ruling.


Andreea Suciu
Andreea Suciu is the Managing Partner and Gabriela Ion is an associate at Suciu | The Employment Law Firm (https://www.suciu-employmentlaw.ro).

Gabriela Ion

    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.

    Under a former Austrian law effective until February 2019, Good Friday was a public holiday only for a minority belonging to certain Christian Evangelical churches. In the case at hand, Austrian courts had to assess if this regulation and its legal consequences were valid under European Union law, or if they constituted discrimination.


Dr. Jana Eichmeyer LL.M
Dr. Jana Eichmeyer, LL.M is a lawyer at Eisenberger & Herzog in Vienna (www.ehlaw.at).

Dr. Karolin Andréewitch
Dr. Karolin Andréewitch is a lawyer at Eisenberger & Herzog in Vienna (www.ehlaw.at).

    Both the French Supreme Court and the Versailles Court of Appeal held that an employer, who must ensure that liberties and fundamental rights of each employee are respected in the working community, may lawfully prohibit the wearing of any visible sign of political, philosophical or religious beliefs in the workplace, provided that the rule contained in the company rules and regulations applies without distinction to employees in direct contact with the customers of the company only. But in the absence of such rules, sanctioning an employee who refuses to remove her Islamic veil based on the wish of a customer, which does not qualify as a genuine and determining occupational requirement, amounts to an unlawful direct discrimination and should consequently be held null and void.


Claire Toumieux
Claire Toumieux is partner and Thomas Robert is an attorney at Allen & Overy LLP in Paris, France.

Thomas Robert

    In a recent judgment, the Danish Supreme Court has established that it does not constitute unlawful discrimination under the Anti-Discrimination Act when a disabled employee is dismissed. The employee had a publicly funded reduced-hours job, but reached the statutory retirement age for which reason the public funding lapsed, and that was the reason for the dismissal.


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

2019/29 Eweida versus Achbita: a storm in a teacup? (EU)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 3 2019
Keywords Religious discrimination
Authors Morwarid Hashemi LLM
AbstractAuthor's information

    Most scholars have argued that the Achbita judgment is not in line with the jurisprudence of the ECtHR, in particular with the Eweida judgment, and gives less protection to the employee than granted by the ECtHR. In this article, I provide a different perspective on the relation between both judgments and nuance the criticisms that followed the Achbita judgment.


Morwarid Hashemi LLM
Morwarid Hashemi LLM is a former student of Erasmus University Rotterdam

    The Italian Court of Cassation has interpreted a new provision referring to the obligations of the new service provider towards the employees of the former provider.


Caterina Rucci
Caterina Rucci is founding partner of Katariina’s Gild.
Case Reports

2019/20 How to interpret the Posting of Workers Directive in the cross-border road transport sector? Dutch Supreme Court asks the ECJ for guidance (NL)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 2 2019
Keywords Private International Law, Posting of Workers and Expatriates, Applicable Law
Authors Zef Even and Amber Zwanenburg
AbstractAuthor's information

    In this transnational road transport case, the Dutch Supreme Court had to elaborate on the ECJ Koelzsch and Schlecker cases and asks for guidance from the ECJ on the applicability and interpretation of the Posting of Workers Directive.


Zef Even
Zef Even is a lawyer with SteensmaEven, www.steensmaeven.com, and professor at the Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Amber Zwanenburg
Amber Zwanenburg is a lecturer and PhD Candidate at the Erasmus University Rotterdam.

    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 Higher Administrative Court of Münster (Oberverwaltungsgericht, the ‘OVG’) has held that a minimum body height of 163 cm for applicants to the police service, irrespective of gender, is lawful. At least, this shall apply if the determination of a minimum body height standard is a suitability criterion for access to the police service. Minimum standards solely serve the purpose of ensuring fitness for service and result from a comprehensive investigation. The investigation in this case established that suitability for the police service can only be guaranteed from a height of 163 cm upwards.


Paul Schreiner
Paul Schreiner is a partner at Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH.

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

    Austrian courts have to deal with an increasing number of cases concerning dismissal on grounds of (alleged) discrimination. The particular challenge is to a draw a conclusive distinction between the concepts of disability and sickness.


Peter C. Schöffmann
Peter C. Schöffmann is a teaching and research associate at the Institute for Austrian and European Labour Law and Social Security Law at Vienna University of Economics and Business, www.wu.ac.at/en/ars.

    A decision taken by an employer based on gender which respects the national legislation was considered discriminatory based on EU legislation.


Andreea Suciu
Andreea Suciu is the Managing Partner Suciu I The Employment Law Firm (https://suciu-employmentlaw.ro/).

Gabriela Ion
Gabriela Ion is an associate at Suciu I The Employment Law Firm (https://suciu-employmentlaw.ro/).
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