Discrimination compensation to job applicants

Job applicants merely seeking compensation are not covered by the provisions of the Equal Treatment Directive 2000/78/EC, as the Court of Justice of the European Union recently ruled in Kratzer v R+V Allgemeine Versicherung AG, in a reference from the German domestic court.

In this case the employer, R+V, advertised trainee positions for graduates. Mr Kratzer applied and his application was rejected. 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, insisted on the compensation payment and suggested a discussion about his future employment once the compensation is settled. He brought a claim for age discrimination in the German court. On learning that all the trainee posts had gone to women, he claimed a further €3,500 for sex discrimination.

The Court of Justice of the European Union decided that Mr Kratzer obtained the status of a job applicant with a view to compensation, and not to recruitment and employment, his status does not fall within the definition of 'access to employment, self-employment or to occupation'. Hence the EU discrimination laws will not afford protection to vexatious job applicants.


Authors: Kiril Moskovchuk

Published: 15 Sep 2016


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