In a case before Kassel Labor Court, business law firm Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek with Dr. Thorsten Leisbrock successfully implemented a defense strategy relating to continued remuneration payments. Prior to the recent legally binding decision in the lawsuit, Heuking had advised an employer in connection with repeated claims for continued remuneration in a case of illness to request from the employee to release his physicians from their duty of medical confidentiality to provide information on an existing connection between the employee’s various illnesses. After the employee refused to do so, Heuking advised the employer to withhold continued remuneration payments. The health insurance fund paid the employee sick pay and in turn claimed continued remuneration payments from the employer.
The Kassel Labor Court decision, which has become final, now clarified that employers will be able to use the same defenses against the health insurance funds as against the employees, thus in particular the outstanding release of physicians from their duty of medical confidentiality. In addition, health insurance funds may not rely on the merely evaluative statement of its medical service that there was no continuing illness if this statement does not contain any information on the individual illnesses.
Heuking demonstrates with this trial that employers are by no means defenseless if they are repeatedly confronted with what are referred to as initial certificates of incapacity to work. The judgement of Kassel Labor Court is one of the few that addresses this problem in detail.
Kassel Labor Court, November 21, 2019 - 9 Ca 290/19
Legal counsel to the defendant employer
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek:
Dipl.-Kfm. Dr. Thorsten Leisbrock (Employment), Cologne