Category Archive: Discrimination

New to age limits: What is allowed, what is not allowed?

Age limits remain a permanent issue in employment law in Europe. They come into play in different ways: On the one hand, as a maximum age limit for the commencement of a particular career;  on the other hand – even more relevant – as an age limit at which the employment relationship automatically terminates. A …

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Change of jurisdiction of the Federal Labour Court of Germany: Consequence of unauthorized instructions

Of central importance in German labour law is the right of the employer to issue instructions to employees with regard to the content, location and time of the work (sec 106 of the German Trade Regulation Act “Gewerbeordnung”). If admissible instructions are given, the employee is obliged to follow them. If he does not follow …

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New Act on Remuneration Transparency

Following up our blog post from December 19, 2016 where we reported about a legislative proposal to promote equal pay between women and men, the Remuneration Transparency Act has now entered into force. Arguing that women still earn 7 % less than men even if statistics account for women frequently working part-time, less often climbing …

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Age discrimination within the recruitment process and the burden of proof of justification

By judgment of 15 December 2016  (BAG, docket number 8 AZR 454/15), the Federal Labour Court has ruled that the employer bears the burden of proof for justification within the meaning of sec. 3 para 2 half sentence 2 of the General Equal Treatment Act (Allgemeines Gleichbehandlungsgesetz, AGG) . In the present case, the plaintiff …

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Employer May Ban Employees From Wearing Headscarves

In a recent ruling made on March 14, 2017, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) decided (docket nos. C-157/15, C-188/15) that employers may prohibit staff from wearing Islamic headscarves under certain circumstances. The ECJ held that such prohibitions do not constitute “direct discrimination”; instead, limits on visible religious wear shall be considered permitted under EU …

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Reverse discrimination – permissible privileged treatment of working experience with the same employer

Being one of the four fundamental freedoms of the European Union’s internal market, the free movement of persons as defined by Art. 45 TFEU (AEUV) grants all citizens of the member states the right to work cross-border as well as protecting them from any discrimination compared to domestic workers. If a national provision is incompatible …

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Increase of Working also for Disabled Employees!?

On 26 January 2017, the Federal State Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht) ruled that a disabled part-time employee may not claim damages for discrimination where his employer did not offer him an increase in weekly working hours, unlike his colleagues (docket number: 8 AZR 736/15). In the case at hand, the employer, a courier service provider, employed …

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Headscarfs in Nurseries

The German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) ruled on 18 October 2016 that a general prohibition on wearing a headscarf which applied to a teacher in a local nursery violates the constitutional right of freedom of belief (docket number: 1 BvR 354/11).   The appellant wore a headscarf as a symbol of her Muslim belief during …

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Federal Labor Court rulings to watch in 2017 (edition Jan – March)

Already in the first quarter of the New Year Germany’s Federal Labor Court will deliver a number of judgments important for advisors and practitioners alike: Time Credits for works council members? (- docket no 7 AZR 224/15 – expected for 18 January 2017- ) Although members of a works council act in an honorary role …

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Remuneration Transparency Act: A look ahead

The coalition committee set the outline for a Remuneration Transparency Act in October 2016, thereby affirming that the current gender pay gap between men and women is no longer acceptable. The Act is planned to come into force in summer 2017. The draft law expressly states that it aims to promote and enforce the equal …

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