D as in Discrimination

What rights do I have if I have suffered from discrimination?

Article 3 of the German Fundamental Law prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender, ancestry, race, language, home country and origin, faith, religious or political views or disability. The General Equal Treatment Act (Allgemeines Gleichbehandlungsgesetz, AGG) implements the protection against discrimination and puts the provisions of the Basic Law into concrete terms for labor law, among other things. 

What unequal treatment is prohibited by the General Equal Treatment Act?

The AGG prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, ethnic origin, gender, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual identity.
The prohibition applies 

  • in the selection of applicants, 
  • in the process of hiring, 
  • with regard to the working conditions, 
  • the salary and 
  • in the case of dismissal.

The AGG prohibits not only provisions that are directly linked to the discriminatory criterion, but also indirect discrimination that is formulated neutrally, but has a particular impact on a protected group (e.g. if a job is advertised only for German as the native language speakers or only for those just starting out in their careersfirst-time job-seekers).

Not all every unequal treatment is prohibited; there are a number of justifications that permit unequal treatment on objective grounds. 

What rights do I have if I have been discriminated against?

In the event of violations of the prohibition of discrimination, there is a compensation claim, which can also be brought to court.


Please note: This is a very general overview on the subject of discrimination under german labor law. If you need help in your particular case, please do not hestitate to contact me or book your appointment. I’m happy to help.