Labour Court / Arbeitsgericht
December 16, 2022
Disputes between employees and employers or between parties to collective agreements are decided by the Labour Court. The Labour Court is the first instance for labour law issues. The second instance is the Regional Labour Court (LArbG). The highest national instance is the Federal Labour Court (BAG). For the labour court to have jurisdiction, the subject matter of the dispute must fall under the facts listed in sections 2, 2a of the Labour Court Act (ArbGG). These include disputes arising from the employment relationship, about the existence or non-existence of an employment relationship and about unlawful acts connected with the employment relationship. However, problems arising in employment-like relationships can also be resolved before the labour court. It is not always easy to determine whether the due process of law or a labour court must decide the subject matter of the dispute, but the courts will refer the matter to the competent court.
Proceedings before the labour court are initiated with a conciliation hearing. It takes place as soon as possible after the proceedings have been initiated and is intended to provide a preliminary assessment of the factual and legal situation. The background to this is the attempt to reach a quick and uncomplicated agreement. If an agreement cannot be reached, another date is set, a so-called chamber date, which takes place before the entire chamber. In the labour court, the chamber, the court's adjudicating body, consists of one professional judge and two honorary judges.
Disputes between the works council and the employer are also decided by the labour court in so-called resolution proceedings. The difference here is that, unlike in normal adjudication proceedings, in which the parties must present the facts of the case, the court must determine the facts independently.