In 2022, there were again important labor law decisions. We have already presented some of these rulings and decisions in detail in our blog. Below you will find an overview and a brief summary of the most important decisions from 2022.
1. Target information of a mass dismissal notice (here: age and gender)
In its ruling of May 19, 2022 (Ref.: 2 AZR 467/22), the Federal Labor Court decided that employers are not required to also disclose the age and gender of the affected employees as part of a mass layoff notice.
In this case decided by the Federal Labor Court, the lower courts had ruled differently. They had declared the dismissal of an employee invalid because neither age nor gender was specified in the mass dismissal notice. With this decision, the Federal Labor Court has now clarified that the mere absence of required information in a mass dismissal notice does not lead to the invalidity of a dismissal (see also the detailed presentation of the decision here).
2. transfer abroad
In its ruling of November 30, 2022 (Ref.: 5 AZR 336/22), the Federal Labor Court decided that employees may be permanently transferred abroad unless otherwise agreed in the employment contract.
A Ryanair pilot who was transferred from the closed Nuremberg location to Bologna had filed a lawsuit against this transfer. The aim of his lawsuit was to establish that the transfer to Italy was invalid. He did not achieve this goal. The Federal Labor Court held that the transfer was effective in this individual case. The right of employers to issue instructions regarding the place of work applies not only to Germany, but in principle to all locations worldwide. In these cases, the only decisive factor is whether the transfer is reasonable for the employee in the specific individual case.
3. Termination agreement under pressure
In another ruling of February 24, 2022 (Ref.: 6 AZR 333/21), the Federal Labor Court did not consider the requirement of fair negotiation to be violated. In the case, the employer had made the acceptance of a termination agreement offer by an employee dependent on the condition that she accepted the offer immediately. The requirement of fair negotiation was also not violated by the fact that the employee was not granted a period to think about the matter and was refused the legal advice she had requested.
4. Limitation of vacation
According to the decision of the Federal Labor Court of December 20, 2022 (Case No. 9 AZR 266/22), vacation is only subject to the statute of limitations if the employer has informed the employee that a vacation entitlement exists and that it will expire if not taken. If the employer fails to provide such information, the employer cannot invoke the three-year limitation period under the German Civil Code.
Although this decision was expected, it has once again made it clear to companies how important it is to implement the obligation to provide information correctly. Otherwise, massive compensation claims may be threatened (in this case 101 vacation days).
5. Recording working time
Finally, the decision of the Federal Labor Court of September 13, 2022 (Ref.: 1 ABR 22/21) on the recording of working hours received considerable attention. In this ruling, the Federal Labor Court clarified that employers are obliged to actually record the location, start, duration and end of employees' working hours. The mere provision of a working time recording system is not sufficient. With regard to this decision, numerous points remain unclarified, such as validity also for executive employees, scope of co-determination of the works council in time recording, scope of admissibility of trust-based working time. These issues will be addressed in the next blog post.