Federal Labor Court declares Air Berlin layoffs to be lawful

Airbus A320 (V1Images.com/Shaun Grist).
Airbus A320 (V1Images.com/Shaun Grist).

Federal Labor Court declares Air Berlin layoffs to be lawful

Airbus A320 (V1Images.com/Shaun Grist).
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The hopes of former Air Berlin employees to be able to assert claims against the insolvent company or, in the case of possible transfers of business, against the respective legal successors by challenging their dismissals in court, may now have been dashed. The Federal Labor Court declared the termination of the employment relationships to be lawful.

The bankruptcy of the Air Berlin Group is now more than five years ago, but the judiciary is still busy with the case of what was once Germany's second largest airline. Many employees have sued against their dismissals or have sued for the establishment of transfers of business. For example, a court senate found that in a certain constellation there was such a case against the airline company Walter. The plaintiffs can really not buy anything from this, because LGW itself filed for bankruptcy shortly after the start of the corona pandemic.

In May 2020 the Federal Labor Court ruled in the case of a flight attendant, that the dismissal issued by the Air Berlin mass administrator in January 2018 is invalid because the so-called mass dismissal notification to the employment office was incorrect. Employers are obliged to notify the local Federal Employment Agency in advance of a certain number of terminations. However, according to the BAG, this was exactly what was wrong.

The second dismissal ended up before the Federal Labor Court

As a result, those affected received another letter from the insolvency administrator Lucas Flöhter, because in August 2020 he resigned from the employment relationship. This is exactly what a new procedure was about. The same flight attendant, who was once stationed in Düsseldorf, went to court again and asserted formal deficiencies. The matter went through the courts again and ended up before the Federal Labor Court.

The lower courts have not already ruled in favor of the plaintiff. The sixth senate of the BAG dismissed the appeal and determined that the notice of termination given in August 2020 is legally effective and has effectively ended the employment relationship. The requirements would have been met. This includes in particular the consultation with the staff representatives as well as the notification of collective redundancies to the Federal Employment Agency. The termination would also be justified because flight operations had been shut down for a long time. The BAG was also unable to identify any other reasons that would have spoken in favor of canceling the termination of the employment relationship.

In another similar case, the BAG also rejected an appeal against a judgment previously issued by the Berlin-Brandenburg Regional Labor Court. This should finally scatter the hopes of those Air Berlin employees that any claims will be enforced, since a uniform judgment practice by the Federal Labor Court can be seen.

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Editor of this article:

Jan Gruber is Senior Editor at Aviation.Direct. Before that, he had held the same position at AviationNetOnline (formerly Austrian Aviation Net) since 2012. He specializes in low-cost carriers, regional aviation in the DA-CH region and in-depth research.

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About the editor

Jan Gruber is Senior Editor at Aviation.Direct. Before that, he had held the same position at AviationNetOnline (formerly Austrian Aviation Net) since 2012. He specializes in low-cost carriers, regional aviation in the DA-CH region and in-depth research.

Nobody likes paywalls
- not even Aviation.Direct!

Information should be free for everyone, but good journalism costs a lot of money.

If you enjoyed this article, you can check Aviation.Direct voluntary for a cup of coffee Coffee trail (for them it's free to use).

In doing so, you support the journalistic work of our independent specialist portal for aviation, travel and tourism with a focus on the DA-CH region voluntarily without a paywall requirement.

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