In Germany, the term “warning” is commonly used in various areas of law and can have different meanings. In general, a warning is a formal request to refrain from or change a certain behavior. This article takes a differentiated look at cease-and-desist letters in competition law, copyright law, employment law and other cease-and-desist letters.
Warning notice in competition and copyright law
In competition and copyright law, the purpose of a warning notice is to request a person or company to cease and desist from an alleged infringement. This often involves anti-competitive behavior or copyright infringements.
The purpose of such a warning is to give the warned party the opportunity to put an end to the infringement without going to court, usually by issuing a cease-and-desist declaration and paying a sum of money.
A warning notice in competition or copyright law should precisely describe the alleged infringement and clarify the required measures.
Warning in labor law
In employment law, a warning is a formal reprimand issued by an employer to an employee for conduct in violation of the contract.
The purpose of a warning in employment law is to draw the employee’s attention to his misconduct and to make it clear to him that, if he repeats it, he will face consequences under employment law, up to and including dismissal.
An employment law warning should accurately describe the conduct complained of, express the expectation of future conduct, and outline the consequences if it is repeated.
In addition to the above-mentioned warnings, there are other forms, e.g. in tenancy relationships. Here, a landlord can issue a warning to a tenant if the tenant violates his contractual obligations, for example, if the rent is not paid on time.
A warning letter is a widespread instrument in Germany that is used in various areas of law. Depending on the context, it can fulfill different functions and have different requirements in terms of form and content.