Dear Madam or Sir,
the first issue of our Newsletter for 2013 reviews various recent decisions of the Federal Labor Court that can have significant implications in practice. For example, the Federal Labor Court issued two decisions on 18 July 2012 concerning the use of successive fixed-term employment contracts over a period of years. However, the two judgments differed due to the number and duration of the fixed-term contracts. Further decisions addressed here concern covert video surveillance of employees, the right of employers to demand a medical certificate on the first day of illness-related absence, the right of employers to ask employees about criminal investigations, the content of letters of reference and – last but not least – the court departed from previous practice with its ruling to the effect that temporary personnel must in the future be counted for the purposes of determining the size of a company's workforce. At the practical level - which means primarily as regards employers - it will be necessary to adapt to changed circumstances.