EU to Probe Germany’s Minimum-Wage Law

     (CN) – A minimum-wage law in Germany may actually violate EU law by forcing out-of-state transport companies to comply in order to do business there, the European Commission said Tuesday.
     The regulatory body decided to launch infringement proceedings against Germany over its minimum-wage law, which took effect this past January. It set the minimum wage at 8.50 euros per hour, currently $9.48.
     But Germany’s minimum wage also applies to out-of-state transportation companies doing business within its borders – a potential restriction of the free movement of goods and freedom to do business enshrined in the EU constitution, the commission said.
     “The commission supports the introduction of minimum wage in Germany, which is in line with the social policy commitment of this commission,” the agency said in a statement. “However, as guardian of the treaties, the commission must also ensure that the application of the national measures is fully compatible with EU law, notably the posting of workers directive, transport acquis and the treaty principle of freedom to provide services, the free movement of goods, and having regard to the principle of proportionality.”
     German authorities have two months to respond to the commission’s arguments. If the agency finds Germany’s answers unsatisfactory or if German lawmakers do not drop the offending portion of the minimum-wage law, regulators can file suit in the European Court of Justice.

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