GRP Rainer LLP

Liability for Intentional Wrongdoing Not Excluded by Acceleration Clause in Contract


Cologne, Germany -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/10/2013 -- GRP Rainer Lawyers Tax Advisors, Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Bremen, Düsseldorf, Essen, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hanover, Munich, Nuremberg and Stuttgart, London explain: In its judgment of June 20, 2013 (Az.: 8 AZR 280/12), the German Federal Labour Court (BAG) ruled that an acceleration clause regulated by the parties to an employment contract in said contract should only cover those cases which are not already regulated by statute, so that, for example, liability for intentional wrongdoing is not covered by this kind of clause.

In the present case, the parties agreed within the framework of an employment contract concluded for one year that any mutual enforcement of claims from and in connection with the employment contract is only possible within three months from the date of expiry in writing. Otherwise, any possible claims should expire.

Probably due to the Claimant’s long-term illness and limited ability to work, the parties then mutually agreed to bring an end to their employer-employee relationship. Shortly thereafter, the Claimant seemingly informed its former employer that it would press charges on account of harassment and insult. Three months after termination of the employment relationship, it also lodged a claim before the labour court for damages for pain and suffering.

The BAG clarified that the parties could not validly regulate liability for intentional wrongdoing or its prescription in an employment contract due to the existence of clear statutory rules. It was also most notably considered, because of and in the absence of particular evidence suggesting this, that this could not have been intended by the parties. The BAG further clarified that such a clause would not be effective in any case.

Where there are questions regarding employment contracts, written warnings and dismissals, a lawyer active in the field of labour law should be sought out. In the field of labour law, it is particularly important to observe deadlines, as these often necessitate quick action from the parties and potential claims are no longer enforceable after the deadline. A lawyer can help you enforce claims and assist you where there are problems pertaining to labour law.

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GRP Rainer LLP is an international firm of lawyers and tax advisors who are specialists in commercial law. The firm counsels commercial and industrial companies and corporations, as well as associations, small- and mid-sized businesses, self-employed freelancers and private individuals worldwide from offices Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Essen, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannover, Munich, Stuttgart, Bremen, Nuremberg and London UK.

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