The state of North Rhine-Westphalia has rightly rejected claims for compensation for wage payments in the corona pandemic after a ruling. This was decided by the North Rhine-Westphalian Higher Administrative Court on Friday, surprisingly changing decisions of the administrative courts of Minden and Münster in appeal proceedings.
Several subcontractors of the large meat plants of Tönnies (Rheda-Wiedenbrück) and Westfleisch (Münster) had applied for compensation after their employees had to quarantine in spring 2020 on the instructions of the authorities. The rejection by the country had triggered a wave of lawsuits with over 7000,<> cases. Because of its fundamental importance, the court allowed the appeal to the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig.
A reimbursement of paid compensation for loss of earnings is only possible if the employees are not entitled to payment of wages by the employer, the 18th Senate found in the grounds of the judgment. However, the court is convinced that this claim exists in the model cases heard on Friday. The decisive question from the Civil Code is whether the employee cannot work for a relatively short period of time through no fault of his own. In the two cases negotiated, the absences were well below six weeks and the employment relationships were permanent and unterminated.
In its decision, the OVG followed up on a judgment of the Federal Court of Justice from 1978, which concerned the 6-week period for continued wage payments in the event of illness.