Legal Advice on Employment and Labour Law in Cologne
Rechtsanwalt Tieben

Rechtsanwalt Helmer Tieben
Beratung unter:
Tel.: 0221 - 80187670

    • Action against unfair dismissal
    • Action over pay matters
    • Testimonials
    • Cautions
    • Employment contracts
Rechtsanwalt Helmer Tieben

Helmer Tieben

Rechtsanwalt Employment and Labour Law

Labour law is one of the fields of specialisation of lawyer Helmer Tieben located in the Südstadt district of Cologne, near Ulrepforte. According to data from “Information und Technik NRW” (IT.NRW), Cologne is home to around 500,000 employees who pay into the national social security system and who are employed by around 100,000 companies. This gives rise to a considerable potential for disputes, especially because the employee spends a large part of his or her life in the employer’s business.

Lawyer Helmer Tieben advises both employees and employers and always works with the client to find the best and most socially acceptable solution to the client’s problem. Wherever possible, we try to keep the matter out of Cologne Labour Court and to find a solution before it lands there. However, if litigation is the only remaining option, we will, of course, be happy to represent you in court with our full commitment to help you assert your rights.

The following topics often require advice from a specialist in labour law:

Legal advice for dismissal /actions against unfair dismissal/special protection against dismissal

The most important topic in labour law by far is dismissal, and around half of all actions brought before the labour court are actions against unfair dismissal. With the German Act against Unfair Dismissal, law makers have therefore introduced a special law for the termination of employment contracts. An employer can give notice for person-related reasons, for conduct-related reasons, or for operational reasons. If an employee feels that his or her dismissal is unfair, it should be noted that deadlines apply for taking legal action against unfair dismissal in the vast majority of cases. This means that the employee has three weeks from receiving notice to file an action against unfair dismissal. If the action is not filed within this period, the termination will be deemed to be legally effective from the start, so that the plaintiff can no longer invoke errors in the dismissal at a later date.

Your first contact for labour law questions at our law firm is Lawyer Helmer Tieben. Mr. Helmer Tieben has been practising labour law since his admission to the bar and thus has many years of experience – especially in this field of law. If you have a problem related to labour law, simply call Lawyer Tieben on 0221 – 80187670.

Moreover, in the case of certain formal errors, the dismissal can and must be rejected by the employee within an even shorter period of time. It is therefore best for the employee to seek legal advice from a specialist in labour law right on the first day after receiving notice of dismissal.

However, many employees are not only protected against unfair dismissal by general law, but can also invoke special protection against dismissal. This applies, for example, to severely disabled persons, works council members, pregnant women/expectant mothers, parents on parental leave, data protection officers etc. Please contact us if you would like our advice on this topic.

However, even if the Act against Unfair Dismissal does not apply because the respective business is too small or the employee has only been working for the business for a short time, this does not mean that the employee can be simply dismissed at random. For the employee can successfully defend a dismissal that is immoral or contrary to good faith even without the Act against Unfair Dismissal being applicable.

Simply give us a call so we can decide with you whether and how to proceed in your case.

Legal advice on cautions

Unlike a notice of dismissal, which must always be in writing, a formal caution under labour law is not bound to any particular form. In other words, such a caution need not be in writing, but can also be issued orally.

However, since a caution is often a requirement for an effective termination due to misconduct and/or is intended as a preparatory step towards a dismissal, we urgently recommend that a caution be issued in writing so that it can be presented as evidence.

Both on the employer’s and the employee’s part, cautions should be handled with care so as to avoid any undesirable legal consequences. An employee should not accept a caution without objection and an employer should carefully consider and prepare a caution.

If you are an employer and would like to issue a caution, or an employee and would like to challenge a caution, please feel free to contact us so that we can find the best solution for you together.

Legal support for mobbing/bossing cases

Social change and the accompanying uncertainties about losing one’s job mean that some employees are exposed time and again to mobbing by their work colleagues or by their superior (bossing). According to studies, two-thirds of all employees have already been victims of mobbing at some point in their career. However, mobbing especially by colleagues, should be countered by prompt and resolute action, as it can otherwise cause considerable damage to the mobbing victim’s health.

Under labour law, it is the duty of the employer, and hence of the superior, to ensure that individual employees are not mobbed by other employees. Hence, if an employer argues that the employees should settle the matter among themselves this is untenable under labour law.

If you are being mobbed, please call us so that we can find a solution together to help you feel more confident in the workplace again and put an end to mobbing.

Counselling and representation for employment contracts/testimonials

The employment contract or training contract constitute the legal basis of the relationship between employer and employee. It is a special type of service contract and should contain all of the rules that are important for the employment relationship.

The most important elements of the employment contract are the exact names of the parties, an exact job description and an exact description of hours to be worked by the employee, as well as the remuneration terms.

However, the employment contract should, of course, contain further provisions so that there is no potential for dispute between the parties (e.g., company pension plan, special benefits, ban on additional occupation or non-competition clauses).

If you wish to have an employment contract drafted or reviewed, we will be happy to assist you! Testimonials are an important and often existential topic for the employee. A bad testimonial can be a great obstacle for an employee’s future career. Every employee should therefore check the testimonial they have been given to ensure that it actually corresponds to the work they have done and does not contain any phrases with hidden meanings that could give the future employer a false impression.

Precisely these famous testimonial phrases are being used more and more frequently to get back at the employee. We will be happy to help you review your testimonial.

Legal support for severance agreements/severance payments

By concluding a severance agreement or a cancellation agreement the employer often tries to evade his labour law obligations towards the employee, as this allows him or her to circumvent the regulations on protection against unfair dismissal. Especially if such a cancellation agreement includes the payment of  severance pay the employee should exercise great caution, as this offer is often only intended as bait and the sum to which the employee would in reality be entitled is often much higher. A severance or cancellation agreement should therefore not be signed lightly, as this would make it near-impossible to challenge such an agreement at a later date. Don’t be pressured into signing, but ask a lawyer who specialises in labour law for advice so as not to make a mistake that could cost you dearly.

Legal counsel in pay matters

Pay is the employer’s compensation for the work performed by an employee and is usually paid in arrears. Due to economic constraints such as a weak order situation of the employer or due to other problems, it sometimes happens that the employer pays the employee’s wages late or not at all. In order to avoid getting into financial difficulties, however, the employee should take action against this promptly and demand payment from the employer, preferably by a lawyer, setting a deadline. Moreover, in January 2015, the minimum wage came into force. Disputes often occur between the employer and the employee as to whether the employer’s payments comply with the statutory minimum wage. Another contentious issue is the question whether the employer is required by law to continue paying the employee’s wages, for example, in the case of illness under the Continued Payment of Remuneration Act (Entgeltfortzahlungsgesetz) or in the case of leave under the Federal Leave Act (Bundesurlaubsgesetz).

Also, the question of whether and for how long the employee’s health insurance is obliged to grant sick pay frequently gives rise to legal disputes. In this case, too, we are naturally happy to advise both parties to the employment contract, taking into account the current line of case law and legislation.

Contact us

If you need legal counselling on labour law matters, please call us with no strings attached on 0221 – 80187670 or send us an e-mail to

Our contact details:

Lawyer Helmer Tieben Cologne Südstadt (near Ulrepforte/Chlodwigplatz)

Sachsenring 34
50677 Köln/Cologne
Phone: 0221 – 80187670
Facsimile: 0221 – 2717110


So sieht der Ablauf bei uns aus


Wir besprechen in einem telefonischen Erstgespräch Ihr Problem und je nach Ersteinschätzung folgen weitere Schritte

Erstberatung / Treffen

Nach Terminvereinbarung folgt ein Treffen in der Kanzlei, um die notwendigen weiteren Besprechungen oder eine Beratung vorzunehmen


In enger Abstimmung mit Ihnen erfolgt die rechtliche Vertretung, um das bestmögliche Ergebnis für Sie zu erzielen