Labour law

Dismissal due to Russian accent

Regional Labour
Court of Bremen, judgment of 29.06.2010 - 1 Sat 29/10

The plaintiff is a logistics manager and German citizen. She speaks with a Russian accent. Since 20.01.2009 she had been an employee of the sued logistics company. Her responsibilities included, inter alia, the telephone service (client contact). On 11.03.2009, a conversation took place between the plaintiff and the managing director of the defendant party, in which the manager claimed that the customers were scared by her Russian accent and that this had a negative effect on the reputation of the company. Thereupon, the plaintiff could not answer any more phone calls and received a dismissal notice on 07.04.2009.

According to section §1 of the General Equal Treatment Act discrimination on grounds of ethnic origin can be discerned in this dismissal since the termination of employment resulted from the Russian accent of the plaintiff who thereby experienced a less favourable treatment than other employees without Russian accent.  

The plaintiff was entitled to a compensation of three monthly salaries.

No employment on grounds of headscarf

Higher Regional Court of Celle, judgment of 13/02/2014 - 13 U 37/13, District Court of Lueneburg, judgment of 15.01.2013 - 9 O 261/12

The plaintiff is German and has Turkish roots. She wears a headscarf. She had applied for a job as a private job adviser. There she was told she could not work as a job adviser when wearing a headscarf.
The plaintiff went to an anti-discrimination centre and filed a complaint.

The Higher Regional Court of Celle affirmed that discrimination had occurred and the plaintiff received a compensation of 1,850.00 EUR.

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