As an expat living in Germany, you have the right to work in a safe and non-discriminatory environment. Discrimination in the workplace is a serious issue, and German law provides strong protections against it. In this article, we'll take a closer look at discrimination in the workplace in Germany and what expats need to know.
What is Discrimination?
Discrimination occurs when an employer treats an employee unfairly because of a protected characteristic, such as race, gender, age, disability, or sexual orientation. Discrimination can take many forms, including unequal treatment, harassment, and bullying.
German law provides strict protections against discrimination in the workplace. The General Equal Treatment Act (AGG) prohibits discrimination on the grounds of race, ethnic origin, gender, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, and other characteristics.
Types of Discrimination
There are several types of discrimination that can occur in the workplace, including direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, and harassment.
Direct discrimination occurs when an employer treats an employee unfairly because of a protected characteristic. For example, an employer may refuse to hire a candidate because of their gender.
Indirect discrimination occurs when an employer implements a policy or practice that appears to be neutral, but has a disproportionate impact on a particular group. For example, an employer may require all employees to work on a Saturday, which could have a disproportionate impact on employees who observe the Sabbath.
Harassment occurs when an employer or employee engages in behavior that is unwanted and offensive to the recipient. For example, an employer may make offensive comments about an employee's race or religion.
Protections Against Discrimination
Under German law, employees have the right to file a complaint if they believe that they have been discriminated against in the workplace. Complaints can be made to the employer, the works council, or the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency.
If an employer is found to have engaged in discrimination, they can be ordered to pay damages to the affected employee. Additionally, employers can be fined for engaging in discriminatory practices.
As an expat living or moving to Germany, it's important to protect yourself against discrimination in the workplace. Make sure that you understand your rights under German employment law and seek advice from an experienced employment lawyer or consultant if you have any concerns.
Additionally, make sure that you keep a record of any incidents of discrimination or harassment that occur in the workplace. This can be helpful if you need to file a complaint or take legal action in the future.
Discrimination in the workplace is a serious issue, and German law provides strong protections against it. As an expat living in Germany, it's important to understand your rights and protections under German employment law.
By following this guide, expats can ensure that they receive the benefits and protections that they are entitled to. If you have any questions or concerns about discrimination in the workplace in Germany, it's recommended that you seek advice from an experienced employment lawyer or consultant.