Labor court

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The labor court is regularly the court of first instance for disputes in connection with an employment relationship (labor matters).

Labor courts in German law


The labor courts are responsible for all civil disputes between employees and employers as well as for disputes between the parties to the collective bargaining agreement . The other competences result from §§ 2, 2a of the Labor Court Act . They are also responsible for disputes between employees who are similar to employees and their clients. The demarcation from the civil law branch of ordinary jurisdiction on the one hand and (rarely) administrative and social jurisdiction on the other is problematic in some cases.


The Arbitration Body of the Labor Court is the Chamber . It decides with a professional judge and two honorary judges , one of whom comes from the group of employees and the other from the group of employers.

All three members of the chamber have one vote each.

Legal recourse / procedure

The procedure before the labor court is generally initiated with an appointment before the chamber chairman without the involvement of the honorary judge. This appointment should take place shortly after the filing of the lawsuit. It is used for the preliminary assessment of the factual and legal situation and the attempt to reach a quick amicable agreement. If the appointment fails, another appointment ("chamber appointment") takes place in front of the entire chamber. The parties must prepare this by submitting written documents.

Before the labor court, a distinction must be made between judgment and resolution procedures. Disputes between employers and employees as well as the parties to the collective bargaining agreement are resolved in the judgment procedure, disputes between the works council and the employer are dealt with in the decision procedure . In the decision- making process, the court must determine the facts ex officio; in the judgment process, as in civil proceedings, the principle of disclosure applies ; it is up to the parties to present the facts about which the dispute is being made. The legal remedy of appeal against the judgments of the labor court in the judgment process is permissible if the amount in dispute exceeds 600.00 euros or the labor court has approved the appeal. The appeal will be heard before the regional labor court. The legal remedy against judgments by the regional labor court is an appeal to the federal labor court . This must have been approved by the state labor court itself or in the context of a non-admission complaint by the federal labor court. As an exception, a jump revision directly from the labor court to the federal labor court can be considered.

In the decision-making process, the labor court decides by resolution. A complaint to the regional labor court is always possible against this. A legal appeal to the Federal Labor Court is possible against the decision of the State Labor Court if the State Labor Court or the Federal Labor Court have admitted it in the context of a non-admission complaint.

In the judgment process, the acting parties are named; In the decision-making process, the labor court must always check whether, in addition to the applicant and the defendant, usually the employer and works council, other persons, e.g. B. Works council members or committees, e.g. As the central works or represented in the operating unions , in their works constitution may be affected by the position decision. If this is the case, the labor court must also involve them in the legal dispute.

In the first instance, there is no compulsory lawyer before the labor court . The parties can also be represented in all instances by the trade union or employers' associations. If, however, a lawyer or chamber legal adviser is called in, the legal fees that arise in the first instance - unlike in ordinary civil proceedings - cannot be reimbursed by the opposing party, even in the event of a win (Section 12a ArbGG). If a party wins in a later instance, i.e. in the appeal and appeal proceedings, the losing side is obliged to reimburse the opponent's legal fees in these two instances. However, the principle that the costs of the lawyer in the first instance are not reimbursed does not apply to the costs that have arisen from the fact that the action was first brought before another court (e.g. district court), which then arises for declared incompetent and submitted the procedure to the labor court (Section 12a, Paragraph 1, Clause 3 ArbGG).

The procedure before the labor court is subject to a special acceleration principle . The labor court must try to negotiate the matter as quickly as possible. For this purpose, it has the option of setting short deadlines for the parties and also ordering that a presentation that is submitted late cannot be considered. If possible, the procedure should be completed in a chamber appointment. Despite this requirement, the procedural times at the labor courts are very different, sometimes the courts only need three months to reach a judgment, sometimes more than a year.

Labor courts in Austrian law

In Austria, labor jurisdiction is exercised in the first instance by the regional courts . Another task is the exercise of social justice, which is why Austria speaks of labor and social courts. Only in Vienna there is an independent court, the Vienna Labor and Social Court . In the second instance, the labor jurisdiction is exercised by the higher regional courts , in the third instance by the Supreme Court .

In addition to the professional judges, expert lay judges from the group of employee and employer representatives also participate in judicial decisions at Austrian labor and social courts.

In the first instance there is no legal or representation obligation, in the second instance before an OLG, the parties can be represented not only by lawyers, but also by qualified representatives such as legal protection secretaries of bodies capable of collective bargaining , such as the Chamber of Labor , the ÖGB or the Chamber of Commerce . Only in the third and last instance before the Supreme Court is there an absolute legal requirement.

Labor courts in Swiss law

Only rudimentary national regulation

The Swiss Code of Civil Procedure only regulates the cantonal authorities rudimentary. So it is up to the cantons whether they want to create pure labor courts or not. The cantons of Bern , Zurich and Basel-Stadt , among others , have decided to take this step. For Berne, for example, Art. 9 of the EG ZSJ regulates that disputes arising from employment relationships with an amount in dispute of less than 15,000 francs are decided by the regional courts in a three-person team. In addition to the president of the court, two specialist judges are involved, one of which is from the employer and one from the employee side.

Relativization of the legal monopoly

Although only lawyers are usually authorized to represent parties in court, the ZPO provides for exceptions in special cases. This also applies to the labor courts, before which the parties may also be represented by professionally qualified persons, provided this is provided for by cantonal law (Art. 68 Paragraph 2 lit. d ZPO - for the Canton of Bern see Art. 9 Paragraph 2 EC ZSJ).

Labor courts in Belgian law

Since 1970 there have been labor courts in every Belgian "arrondissement". As is common practice in Belgium, the Labor Court is a court of first instance for disputes between employers and employees. It also deals with disagreements on social security , welfare , occupational diseases and accidents at work . The appointment is typically made by social judges who are temporarily appointed.

Labor court in French law

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Labor Court  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Art. 4 ZPO . Visited on August 22, 2011.
  2. ^ Frank Emmel: Labor disputes according to the new ZPO ( Memento of September 28, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) In: NZZ . October 23, 2010.
  3. Introductory Act to the Code of Civil Procedure, the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Code of Criminal Procedure for Young People ( Memento of March 2, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) (EG ZSJ) on the homepage of the Canton of Bern. Visited on August 25, 2011.