2012/4/4 - 21 Cdo 260/2011 (summary)

Czech Republic – Supreme Court – Decision No. 21 Cdo 260/2011 – Apr 4, 2012

(employer not domiciled in a Member State – Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001)

The Supreme Court heard an extraordinary appeal lodged by a Moldavian company, which was the defendant in a lawsuit between it and its employee claiming wage compensation. The Appellant claimed lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter on the part of the Czech courts.

The Supreme Court inferred that the case falls within the scope of the Brussels I Regulation, and that Article 18, as well as other Articles, of the Regulation were to be applied. With reference to the Judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union in C-327/10 Lindner, the Supreme Court held that the prerequisite for its application is a situation that may invoke questions concerning the determination of international jurisdiction. Such a situation indeed occurred in the case in question. In accordance with Article 18(2), the Moldavian company is deemed to be domiciled in the Czech Republic, since the company has a branch in the Czech Republic. Under Article 19(1) of the Regulation, the employee may therefore file a lawsuit against the employer with the courts of the Member State where the employer is domiciled (or where the employer has a branch). In the subsequent determination of the court with local jurisdiction, it is necessary to follow the national legislation. The forum selection agreement entered into within the contract of employment shall not apply, since it does not meet the conditions specified in Article 21(1) of the Regulation (it was not entered into after the dispute had arisen). Article 23 does not apply (see Article 23(5)).

In addition, had the court not have jurisdiction under any other provisions of the Regulation, it would have jurisdiction under Article 24 of the Regulation (see the Judgment in C-150/80 E.S.G. vs. P.J.).