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“It’s age discrimination. Oh – and sex discrimination”
Date: 29th August 2016
Steve Wright of Twyford HR briefs you on discrimination protection. A German employer, R+V, advertised trainee positions for graduates, and a Mr. Kratzer applied and was unsuccessful. He sent a written complaint to R+V, demanding €14,000 in compensation for age discrimination.
R+V invited him to an interview, stating that the rejection of his application had been automatically generated and was a mistake. Mr. Kratzer declined to attend the interview, and instead suggested that they have a discussion about his future employment once his compensation had been settled. He brought a claim for age discrimination in the Wiesbaden Labour Court, which eventually referred the case to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).
In the meantime, on learning that all the trainee posts had gone to women, Mr. Kratzer claimed a further €3,500 for sex discrimination.
The CJEU had to decide whether obtaining the status of applicant with a view to compensation, and not to recruitment and employment, was covered under the provisions of the Equal Treatment Directive (2000/78/EC).
It held that such an applicant does not fall within the definition of ‘access to employment, self-employment or to occupation’ and therefore is not protected by the Directive. Accordingly, vexatious job applicants are not covered by EU discrimination laws.