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Case Reports

2016/57 No compensation for an invalid non-compete clause where no harm shown (FR)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 4 2016
Keywords Non-compete, Damage compensation
Authors Claire Toumieux and Susan Ekrami
AbstractAuthor's information

    An employee who could not prove any harm resulting from an invalid non-compete clause in his employment contract could not obtain damages.


Claire Toumieux
Claire Toumieux and Susan Ekrami are a partner and associate with Allen & Overy LLP in Paris, www.allenovery.com.

Susan Ekrami
ECJ Court Watch

ECJ 14 July 2016, case C-335/15 (Ornano), Maternity leave

Maria Cristina Elisabetta Ornan – v – Ministerio della Giustizia, Direzione Generale dei Magistrati del Ministerio

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 3 2016
Keywords Maternity leave
Abstract

    EU law does not give an employee on maternity a right to full pay while on leave.

    A decision issued by the Constitutional Court on 3 March 2016 upholds a High Court decision on whether evidence obtained through video surveillance at the work place without previously informing the employee or the works council of the recording infringes employees’ privacy. The existence of cameras in the workplace was only made known via a sticker on the shop window, but the Constitutional Court found that it provided sufficient information to employees. The Court found that, as there was a prior suspicion of theft by the employee, temporary recording of the cashier area was lawful and did not require prior consent. The judgment sets out the criteria to be used to determine a fair balance between the competing interests of employee privacy and the employer’s right to compliance.


Sonia Cortes
Sonia Cortes is a partner with Abdón Pedrajas & Molero in Barcelona, www.abdonpedrajas.com. Special thanks to Isabel Ruano and Carla Baussa for their help in preparing this case report.
Case Reports

2016/24 Claimant required to show the ‘reason why’ the underlying reason behind a practice was indirectly discriminatory (UK)

Journal European Employment Law Cases, Issue 2 2016
Keywords Race discrimination, Discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief, Indirect discrimination, Underlying reason for PCP
Authors Anna Bond
AbstractAuthor's information

    The Court of Appeal (‘CoA’) has held that there was no indirect discrimination where the underlying reason behind a ‘provision, criterion or practice’ (‘PCP’) operated by an employer was not discriminatory. The claim of indirect discrimination was brought by Mr Naeem, who is employed by the Prison Service as a full-time imam at HMP Bullingdon. Until 2002, the Prison Service employed only Christian chaplains full-time due to a lack of demand for chaplains of other faiths (who were employed on a sessional basis only). From 2002, it started to hire full-time Muslim as well as Christian chaplains due to an increase in the number of Muslim prisoners.
    The prison system’s pay scale rewards length of service and pay rises are linked to both performance and length of full-time service. Mr Naeem argued that this had a disproportionate negative effect on Muslims, as they could not have been employed for as long as Christians. The CoA rejected this claim, based on the fact that the underlying reason for the difference was the lack of demand for Muslim chaplains before 2002, and that this was not discriminatory.
    This case follows the 2015 CoA case of Essop v Home Office [2015] EWCA Civ 609, which was the first case to add in this extra layer to the indirect discrimination test. According to these cases, a claimant must now show not only that a particular practice particularly disadvantaged them, but also why this is the case. In both cases, appeals have been made to the Supreme Court and these are expected to be heard together later this year.


Anna Bond
Anna Bond is an associate at Lewis Silkin LLP: www.lewissilkin.com.

    A general prohibition against displaying religious, political and philosophical symbols constitutes indirect discrimination which fails to meet the proportionality requirement. In this case the court took account of the fact that it was possible for the employer to distinguish between back-office and front-office work (the claimant worked in a back office position) and also because of the absence of complaints by colleagues or clients and the absence of any attempt by the claimant to encourage other women to wear a headscarf.


Gautier Busschaert
Gautier Busschaert is a lawyer with Van Olmen & Wynant in Brussels, www.Vow.be.

    The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has recently ruled on a Hungarian law suspending payment of civil servants’ pensions for the period during which they are employed in certain areas of the public sector. The ECtHR found this law to be discriminatory as it breaches Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) read in conjunction with Article 1, Protocol 1. Hungary, as the respondent State, is to pay pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages and procedural costs and expenses to the applicant, Mr Gyula Fábián. The judgment was delivered on 15 December 2015 and, if not appealed to the Grand Chamber, will cease to be appealable on 15 March 2016.


Dr. Ildiko Ratkai
Dr. Ildiko Ratkai is a lawyer with Ratkai Law Firm, www.ratkai.com in Budapest.
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