German Law/Work law


Hello and good day,

I am a dual national (German and U.S.), living and working in Germany since about 6-7 years. I live in the state of Rheinland-Pfalz and am employed through a U.S. overseas contracting firm in a position for the military as a civilian. I have been in this position almost 2 years. The firm is located out of the state of Ohio. My contract states that the contract will be construed under the laws of the guiding state, (Ohio). I am employed in the German system which negates me from receiving any U.S. benefits. I pay German tax, have German health insurance, (and all of the other requirements), and have a German Sozialversicherungs Nummer. I was hired while living here as a local national. I was not relocated overseas to the position. My question concerns sick pay. I was out for a period of time with a Krankenmeldung covering me the entire time due to a surgical procedure and had been hsopitalized. I did not receive all of my pay when I was out because I had no saved time up to cover the time I was out. I am alloted 30 days a year per the contract but this is to be used for sick time, personal days and vacation. The time acrues weekly and is supposed to be used once saved. The German system allows for sick time to be paid out up to 6 weeks from the health insurance. Am I entitled to receive the amount I was not paid when I was out recovering or is the contract law enforced? Or does the German law take precedence in my case? If so, how do I go about enforcing it?
Thank you and have a great day

In its case law the Federal Labour Court ruled in the past that a German citizenship and a residence of the employee in Germany would be enough to constitute a relation of the labor contract to Germany.

This does not necessarily mean that German law would be applicable on the whole contract but according to the rule of public policy as stipulated in Art. 34 of the Introductory Act to the German Civil Code any mandatory German regulation prevails irrespective of a valid choice of law in favour of another country`s jurisdiction.

This refers to 3 of the Continuing Salary Payment Act (Entgeltfortzahlungsgesetz) which allows for sick time to be paid out up to 6 weeks from the employer (!), and not from the health insurance. The health insurance pays Krankengeld after this period has expired.

Secondly,I consider the regulations in regard to vacation as regulated in the Federal Vacation Act Bundesurlaubsgesetz and the respective case law of the Federal Labour Court as also mandatory. According to this case law times spent by an employee to recover from an illness is not to be deducted from his claim for paid leave.  

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Henning Haarhaus


I can answer questions in English, German and French. Practice in inheritance law, tax, labour and contract law for private clients. Services also rendered in the fields of business & commercial law; e.g. business organizations, contracts, debt collections, leasing law. Representing clients all over Germany. NO CONSULTANCY ON FAMILY AND IMMIGRATION LAW.


Working since 1999 in the forenamed fields. Henning Haarhaus` experience includes services in the legal department of Roedl & partner, the biggest tax consultancy firm of German origin. Appointed Bar Certified Tax Law Practioner in 2007.

Bar Association of Berlin, KIWANIS


German licensed lawyer and bar certified tax specialist

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