Accounting for about one third of all requests each year, discrimination experienced in working life makes up the bulk of the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency’s advisory work.
It is mainly discrimination against women that plays a major part here; for instance, they tend to be paid less than their male colleagues or treated worse because of a pregnancy or parental leave.
Application processes, too, frequently involve discrimination because, for instance, only applications from people within certain age limits are considered or those with non-German names and applicants with disabilities are not even invited for an interview.
The General Equal Treatment Act (German abbreviation: AGG) prohibits discrimination in employment and work on account of all characteristics covered by the Act alike. Beyond that, the protection covers the entire workforce, i.e. both employees in the private sector and in the public service as well as civil servants. Protection under the AGG generally spans all phases of gainful employment, in other words, from access, via the terms of employment and promotion to the termination of employment relationships.
Moreover, the Act bans any form of sexual harassment in working life as a distinct form of gender-based discrimination.
Employers are obligated to protect their staff from discrimination. This includes the obligation to inform their staff about the AGG and the prohibition of discrimination. In the event of discrimination, employees have the right to complain and must be protected from discrimination.
The Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency offers a series of studies and practice-oriented information materials on all of these topics.