Law firm should now decide in the Merkle case: city council decides on examination

Law firm should now decide in the Merkle case: city council decides on examination

Photo: Laura Turk

The Augsburg construction consultant Gerd Merkle wants to have paid overtime that he collected as an administrative employee in the years 1994 to 2008. A dispute broke out over this, which has now even received nationwide attention.

After the government of Swabia already did not want to give an assessment of the matter and instead recommended an examination either by the municipal employers’ association or a law firm, according to the city leaders, the employers’ association also passed the ball on in its statement: One could probably not be commissioned in this matter answer all questions.

According to regulatory officer Frank Pintsch, the chosen law firm should now carry out a “complete legal examination”: “Results are open.” The speaker at the city council meeting did not want to give an exact figure of how much this process will cost the city. The city will pay the usual prices for a law firm in labor law, said Pintsch only.

Building consultant Gerd Merkle demands the payment of a total of around 4500 overtime hours that he is said to have accumulated as a municipal employee in the years 1994 to 2008 – before his time as a consultant. However, the Augsburg FDP, for example, questions the claim: They suspect that the overtime should have expired when they switched to work as a construction officer.

Who pays the law firm?

The FDP city council faction had therefore already criticized the plan to hire an external consultant in advance, when it was being discussed in the city council’s council of elders. “In employment law, the principle applies that each party has to bear the costs of their legal advice themselves,” wrote the parliamentary group in a press release. “If reports are now being prepared at the expense of the city or the state, which are supposed to justify a claim from Mr. Merkle, then that’s unusual. No employer would even think of paying an employee who demands over 200,000 euros for overtime to pay for a legal opinion establishing the claim.” (Latin)