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German and European Employment Discrimination Policy

Oregon Review of International Law, Vol. 9, p. 261, 2006

44 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2006 Last revised: 3 Apr 2015

Richard A. Bales

Ohio Northern University - Pettit College of Law

Raphael Won-Pil Suh

University of Cologne

Abstract

German employment discrimination law is in considerable flux. German law does not protect private-sector employees from discrimination on the basis of race, ethnic origin, religion, or sexual orientation, and it provides only limited protection from sexual harassment and discrimination on the basis of sex, disability, and age. The European Union, however, has issued two Anti-Discrimination Directives requiring E.U. Member States to offer protection from employment discrimination far greater than the protection currently afforded by German law.

Germany, however, has failed to implement the Anti-Discrimination Directives. E.U. directives normally do not apply directly to E.U. citizens. However, because the deadline for German implementation has passed, German judges must interpret German laws consistently with the Directives, thus giving the Directives indirect horizontal effect. The legal indeterminacy thus created is exacerbated by considerable political uncertainty emanating from the fall 2005 German Parliamentary elections. The clear losers amidst all the confusion are German workers, who have no effective protection from workplace discrimination. This article urges the new German Parliament to quickly rectify this unfortunate situation by passing a workplace Anti-Discrimination law complying with the E.U. Anti-Discrimination Directives.

Keywords: Germany, European Union, discrimination, anti-discrimination, employment

JEL Classification: J71, J78, K31

Suggested Citation

Bales, Richard A. and Suh, Raphael Won-Pil, German and European Employment Discrimination Policy. Oregon Review of International Law, Vol. 9, p. 261, 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=881040

Richard A. Bales (Contact Author)

Ohio Northern University - Pettit College of Law ( email )

525 South Main Street
Ada, OH 45810
United States
419-772-2205 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://law.onu.edu/node/3073

Raphael Won-Pil Suh

University of Cologne ( email )

Albertus-Magnus-Platz
Cologne, 50923
Germany

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