Legal Resources for Workers in Berlin
Navigating legal issues can be a daunting task for workers, especially when they find themselves facing complex employment-related challenges. In such situations, having access to legal aid and support becomes crucial. While there are various avenues to seek legal assistance, one often overlooked option is through labor unions. Unions, known for their advocacy and representation of workers’ interests, can also offer legal aid as part of their membership benefits. In this article, we will explore how obtaining legal aid from unions can be a valuable option for workers, examining the advantages it brings, as well as considering the potential considerations and drawbacks. By understanding the role of unions in providing legal support, workers can make informed decisions about how to navigate their legal challenges effectively.
Pros of Getting Legal Aid from Unions:
- Collective bargaining power: Unions often negotiate better terms and conditions of employment on behalf of their members, including legal benefits. By joining a union, workers gain access to the collective bargaining power that can lead to improved legal aid provisions.
- Cost-effective: Legal representation can be expensive, but many unions offer legal aid as part of their membership benefits at a reduced cost or even for free. This can significantly lower the financial burden for workers who need legal assistance.
- Expertise in labor law: Unions typically have experienced legal professionals who specialize in labor law and employment-related issues. By seeking legal aid through a union, workers can benefit from the expertise and knowledge of these professionals who are familiar with the specific challenges workers face.
- Solidarity and support: Unions foster a sense of solidarity among workers. By seeking legal aid from a union, workers can receive support from their colleagues and gain access to a network of individuals who have faced similar challenges. This can provide emotional support and guidance throughout the legal process.
“We support migrants and mobile workers in precaroious work-life-situations in realising their labour and social rights through counselling, education and building awareness.”
Kub Support for Asylum Seekers https://kub-berlin.org/en/angebote/
Private Legal Insurance (Rechtschutzversicherung)
We recommend that you get legal insurance as soon as you finish reading this article. ANY legal insurance is better than no legal insurance.
Why is it so important? It is common that your employer might pay you incorrectly or not at all, terminate you unfairly, or do any number of other illegal actions. If this happens to you and you have no legal insurance, you have to pay up to thousands if you lose your court case. Or if you choose not to file a court case, your employers have unlimited power to br
We reviewed the best options we could find for legal insurance options in Berlin and included whether we can personally attest to the quality of each legal insurance company. Please see the table below to compare your options.
If you prefer English instead of German, we recommend Getsafe. We have personally filed successful claims and they do not drop you after doing so. The deductible is high, but the monthly price is quite low compared to others. The interface on the app is easy to use and you can file a claim directly in the app. Our only suggestions: 1) you may need to contact Roland directly once you file a claim and have a claim number, and 2) sometimes you need to follow up and remind them to pay your claim. They are sometimes overworked, but in our experience if you remind them they act quickly.
|NAME||BROKER OR DIRECT||LANGUAGE||PRICE (waiting period)||DEDUCTIBLE (fee if you file a claim and lose)||REVIEWS||OUR EXPERIENCE|
|Getsafe||Broker (Roland)||English||€15/month (3 month waiting period)||€300||Good reviews||We filed more than one claim and had complete success|
|Feather||Broker (Roland or Hallesche)||English||€18/month (3 month waiting period before filing a claim)||€300||Good reviews. Claims successfully filed. Reddit and Trust Pilot: Fewer bad reviews than GetSafe||Unknown|
|Adam Riese||Direct||German, not much English support||€23/month(3 month waiting period)||€150||Check24 & expat articles: Good reviews. Trust Pilot: very bad reviews||Unknown|
|ARAG||Direct||German, don’t know about others||€23/month(3 month waiting period)||€150-300||Rechtschutz and Trustpilot: not great reviews||Some of us have this insurance but haven’t filed a claim|
|CIF4ALL||Direct||German, don’t know about others||€14/month(3 month waiting period)||€250||Few reviews. Bad reviews say they drop you after the first claim. Cheapest.||Unknown|
Professional Legal Help (Prozesskostenhilfe)
Prozesskostenhilfe, also known as legal aid or legal assistance in Germany, is a system designed to ensure that individuals with limited financial means have access to the justice system. It provides financial assistance to cover the costs of legal proceedings, allowing individuals to pursue or defend their rights in court, regardless of their financial situation. Here’s an explanation of the Prozesskostenhilfe legal aid system:
- Eligibility: To qualify for Prozesskostenhilfe, individuals must meet certain income and asset thresholds. The exact criteria vary depending on factors such as marital status and the number of dependents. The aim is to assist those who cannot afford legal representation and related costs.
- Coverage: Prozesskostenhilfe can cover various expenses related to legal proceedings. This includes court fees, attorney fees, expert witness fees, and other necessary costs. The level of coverage provided depends on the individual’s financial circumstances.
- Application Process: To obtain Prozesskostenhilfe, individuals need to submit an application to the competent court. The application includes information about their financial situation, the nature of the legal matter, and any supporting documents that may be required.
- Assessment of Eligibility: The court reviews the application and assesses whether the individual meets the financial criteria for Prozesskostenhilfe. They consider factors such as income, assets, liabilities, and the potential merits of the case.
- Repayment: If the legal aid is granted, it is typically provided as a loan rather than a grant. However, repayment is only required if the individual’s financial situation improves significantly in the future. The repayment terms are determined based on the person’s ability to repay.
- Role of the Assigned Attorney: In cases where legal aid is granted, the court assigns an attorney to represent the individual. The assigned attorney will handle the legal proceedings and provide necessary legal advice throughout the process.
Prozesskostenhilfe plays a crucial role in promoting equal access to justice, ensuring that individuals with limited financial means can protect their rights and interests in legal matters. It serves as a safety net for those who might otherwise struggle to afford the costs associated with legal proceedings. By providing financial support, Prozesskostenhilfe enables individuals to pursue legal actions and ensures a fair and balanced justice system for all.