Case Discussion of the Federal Labor Court Decision of 14 December 2011

    December 2011

    In its decision dated 14 December 2011 (4 AZR79/10), the Federal Labor Court dealt with a clause in an employment contract referring to a collective bargaining agreement.

    In its decision, the Federal Labor Court again confirmed its previous decisions on reference clauses in existing contracts, which have been concluded before 1 January 2002. Such clauses are still to be interpreted as equal treatment agreements. In the case of amending existing contracts, however, caution is necessary. According to the Federal Labor Court, any protection of confidence ends if the reference clause has been made the object of a contractual decision of the parties after 1 January 2002. In this respect, it is already sufficient if an amendment agreement contains a provision, which stipulates that all of the remaining regulations of the employment contract remain unchanged.

    This article was published in January 2013 in the renowned legal journal “Arbeit und Arbeitsrecht” (pg. 56).

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