Obligation to offer continued employment to part-time staff on fixed-term full-time jobs
(Federal Labor Court, decision dated March 26, 2015 – 2 AZR 417/14)
The plaintiff had been in the employment of the defendant since 2008, most recently as Head of “Public and Media Relations”, on a 75 % working time basis. The defendant took the decision to outsource this department and dismissed the plaintiff for operational reasons on December 18, 2012, with effect from January 31, 2013. At the same time the defendant filled a position in the “Social Media” division with another employee on a one-year fixed-term contract. At this point in time it was not clear whether this would be a permanent requirement.
The claim against the dismissal brought success at first. The Regional Labor Court admitted a period to respond to a pleading at the end of the court session. One day after the expiry of this period, the board ruled in a teleconference to reject the appeal.
The revision against the decision of the Higher Labor Court of Baden-Württemberg (decision dated May 07, 2014 – 21 Sa 67/13) was successful. The judgment was based a procedural error as, contrary to Sections 193 (1) and 194 of the German Code on Court Constitution (GVG), this decision was not delivered on the basis of private discussion and consultation of the judges. A teleconference cannot replace this consultation, it may only supplement it. But in individual cases a so called follow-up consultation in a teleconference could be permissible, but not in this case.