Higher Labour Court (LAG) - Munich, Judgment as of 12/1/2010
File number 5 Sa 680/10

Key issues

Proceedings before the Labour Court regarding a Turkish employee’s claim to payment of (minimum) wages and overtime hours; not stating the address of the plaintiff is permissible if there is an interest meriting protection.


The review court denied the defendant’s appeal against the judgment of the Labour Court of first instance.
The defendant was a construction company with its corporate domicile in Turkey. The plaintiff was one of at least 44 employees from Turkey who were employed by the defendant company from 2008 to the beginning of 2009 on construction sites in Munich. The agreed to net hourly wage was between EUR 4.50 and EUR 7.00. The gross minimum wage as per a collective bargaining agreement was EUR 12.85. Prior to departure, the employees had to sign numerous papers at the airport.

From July 2008 to February 2009, the plaintiff worked over 200 hours per month. In an action before the Labour Court of first instance, the plaintiff sued for payment of the minimum wage and for payment of overtime hours worked. The court affirmed his claim to payment of the minimum wage. The court was of the opinion, however, that the claim for payment of overtime hours had not been adequately proved by the plaintiff.
The defendant submitted in its defence that it had paid the plaintiff the proper minimum wage, which the defendant claimed was apparent from the payout lists signed by the plaintiff. Neither the Labour Court of first instance nor the review court regarded this as having been sufficiently proved. The payout lists in particular were too unspecific and were contradictory in some places.

The defendant company also contended that the action was not in proper form and should therefore be dismissed because the plaintiff had initially failed to state his address. The review court held that the non-stating of the address is allowed when the plaintiff’s interest in not stating it merits protection. This was the case here because the plaintiff was afraid that the defendant would use the signed certificate of indebtedness to put him under pressure in Turkey.

The review court therefore upheld the judgment of the Labour Court of first instance on all points.

Decisions in full text:

LAG_Muenchen_01_12_2010 (PDF, 828 KB, not barrier-free, in German)

AG_Muenchen_22_04_2010 (PDF, 1,05 MB, not barrier-free, in German)

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