Women and Justice: Keywords

Domestic Case Law

1 BvL 8/08 Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) (2010)

Employment discrimination

Employees of state hospitals in Hamburg were granted the right in 1995 to continued employment in case of privatization of the hospitals. In 2000, the cleaning staff were spun out into a separate company which was a wholly-owned subsidiary of the state hospitals. Upon privatization in 2005, the right to continued employment was applied only to those employees employed by the state hospitals, not those employed by the wholly-owned subsidiary company. The Court held this to be in breach of the right to equal treatment enshrined in the German constitution as the cleaning staff denied the right to continued employment due to the spin-off were predominantly women and there was no evident justification for the unequal treatment of the two groups of employees.

15 Sa 517/08 Employment Court Berlin-Brandenburg (Landesarbeitsgericht Berlin-Brandenburg) (2008)

Employment discrimination

The claimant sued her employer on the grounds of discrimination after a male colleague received a promotion to a management role she had hoped for. The Court decided for the claimant, accepting statistical evidence showing that, while the majority of employees of the employer (69%) were women, no women were represented on the three most senior management levels. This was the first decision of a court accepting such statistical evidence of discrimination.

1 BvR 774/02 Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) (2005)

Employment discrimination, Gender discrimination

The Court held that it was unconstitutional to require an attorney without earnings to continue to make compulsory pension contributions during time taken out to care for children (up to the age of three years). Requiring such compulsory pension contributions was viewed as in breach of the right to equal treatment enshrined in the German constitution because it disproportionately affects women who are in the vast majority of cases the ones taking time out to care for small children.