Thursday, 12 June 2014

Employer Discriminated against a Roma Woman in Establishing Employment Relationship

After initiating a procedure upon the complaint filed by Praxis and Women’s Space from Nis to the Commissioner for Protection of Equality, it was established that the owner of the Pizza Shop “Marconi - Rim” from Nis discriminated against a Roma woman in establishing employment relationship.

Specifically, after publishing an advertisement offering employment in the Pizza Shop  “Marconi - Rim” from Nis, Praxis and the organization Women’s Space carried out situational testing in which two persons, one Roma woman and one non-Roma woman, of similar age, work experience and other characteristics, tried to establish employment relationship with this employer. Despite of it, the employer had the intention to employ only the person who did not belong to Roma ethnic minority.

Since the act of discrimination was made probable by delivering the report on conducted situational testing, statements of the testers and the witnesses of conducted testing, the burden of proof was placed on the employer to prove that the principle of equality had not been violated in this case. For this reason, the employer was obliged to prove that there were objective reasons for which the tester who was of Roma ethnicity was not offered employment in the pizza shop, the reasons which were in no way related to her ethnicity and which provided objective and reasonable justification of such acting. However, in this case, the owner of the Pizza Shop “Marconi - Rim” from Nis did not do what was required, nor had he declared against the claims in the complaint at all.

In this procedure, the Commissioner pointed at the fact that the owner of the pizza shop had complete freedom to choose the person he wished to employ, evaluating the professional knowledge and capacities. However, in the process of employment, it is prohibited to exclude or give priority to any person based on their personal characteristics, which are not real and decisive condition for doing the job, having in mind the nature and specific characteristics of the job and the related working conditions.

For this and for the implementation of the rule on burden of proof, the Commissioner established that, in establishing employment relationship, the employer denied the possibility of employment to the Roma woman, who was a tester, exclusively because she is of Roma ethnicity, thus committing the act of direct discrimination on the basis of her personal characteristic which is prohibited by the articles 2, 6 and 16 of the Law on the Prohibition of Discrimination.

The employer was thus recommended to respect imperative rules on prohibition of discrimination in establishing employment relationship in the future, to publish and keep the opinion and recommendation of the Commissioner on the bulletin board or other visible place in the premises of the shop for at least 8 days and to inform the Commissioner about it within 30 days from submitting the opinion and recommendation.

Download: Opinion of the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality with the recommendation

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