- Clear insights into the basics and objectives of the AGG
- Clear list of who belongs to the so-called Protected Group of Persons
- Legal information on one's own rights and obligations as well as those of the employer
- Concrete characteristics by which discrimination can be recognized
- Solid knowledge of which discriminations are prohibited and which are even justified More info
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Allgemeines Gleichbehandlungsgesetz (AGG)
Section 1 of the General Equal Treatment Act states that the AGG aims to "prevent or eliminate discrimination on the grounds of race or ethnic origin, gender, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual identity." So far, so good. But the following examples show how tricky dealing with the General Equal Treatment Act (AGG) can be in practice. Since the law came into force in 2006, it has repeatedly occupied the courts.
General Equal Treatment Act in professional life: two examples from practice
"This job suits me," thought the 61-year-old business graduate. He sat down at his computer, wrote an application, sent it to the company - and received a rejection a few days later. "Unfortunately, we have to inform you that other applicants are better suited for the specific job profile," the sender had written. Since the advertisement promised "cooperation in a young, highly motivated team," the 61-year-old suspected a form of age discrimination. He sued for damages and invoked the General Equal Treatment Act (AGG). The man was proven right.
A qualified social pedagogue applied to a boarding school for girls - and the school promptly rejected him. The reason given was that the school was only looking for women, partly because the job also involved night work. A man could not inspect the girls' bedrooms and washrooms. The pedagogue was angry. He felt discriminated against because of his gender and demanded compensation. To this end, he invoked the General Equal Treatment Act (AGG) in court. He was not successful. The fact that his application was not considered was admissible in this case.
AGG cases are often complicated in court
Cases involving the General Equal Treatment Act (AGG) are often complicated. In the best case, the plaintiff must clearly prove that he has been the victim of discrimination. Often, however, he has no solid evidence. At best, he can rely on circumstantial evidence. The AGG therefore contains the keyword "reversal of the burden of proof". This means that in the event of a dispute, the defendant must make it clear that he has not discriminated against anyone. Practice shows that it is often a case of testimony against testimony. And that presents the courts with difficult decisions.
The AGG covers every conceivable area of life - from finding an apartment to a dispute with a disco bouncer or the non-approval of a loan when buying a car. However, it particularly often plays a role in the professional world.
Anchoring the General Equal Treatment Act (AGG) in the minds of employees
In principle, it is an employer's duty to prevent unfavorable treatment of an employee. There are a number of appropriate measures for this purpose. Prevention is one of the most important. This involves creating awareness of discrimination among employees. One way to do this is to participate in an online training course from Security Island on the General Equal Treatment Act (AGG).
The e-learning course discusses, for example, the differences between indirect discrimination and direct discrimination. Non-lawyers may spontaneously lose interest in view of these abstract terms. However, illustrative examples in the online training course make the matter understandable.
Details of the General Equal Treatment Act (AGG) made comprehensible
One form of possible indirect discrimination, in this case against elderly or disabled people, is so commonplace that it is hardly noticed: Many banks close branches to save costs. Then they set up machines where customers are supposed to do their banking. But if these machines are not sufficiently barrier-free, this can be an indirect disadvantage.
Direct discrimination, on the other hand, is defined by the AGG Act as when a person is treated less favorably than another person in a comparable position because of one of the characteristics listed in the General Equal Treatment Act (AGG). Sounds complicated, but it is actually not.
The significance of direct discrimination becomes clear with this practical example: A company that exports goods to the USA regularly sends (male) employees to Florida. The trips to America are popular. However, women who would also like to take such a business trip to Miami one day are not allowed to do so. "This is done to protect women," says the boss, "only men can handle the dangers of traveling abroad." - If the man had taken part in an AGG training course at Security Island, he would probably not have let himself be carried away publicly into making such a statement.
General Equal Treatment Act (AGG) also applies in cases of sexual harassment
Cases of sexual harassment are more clearly defined. The Equal Treatment Act (AGG) can also apply here. An example: The head of department ensnares his assistant and makes her suggestive offers. Every now and then, he also puts his arm around her shoulder and presses her against him. "Oops, an oversight," he then says. The young woman doesn't know how to react. After all, she doesn't want to jeopardize her career advancement. Finally, she summons up all her courage: She reports the incident to her boss and informs the company's AGG officer.
If you look at the General Equal Treatment Act in summary, it becomes clear that the AGG protects many areas of life. It prohibits discrimination based on race or ethnic origin, gender, religion or beliefs, disability, age as well as sexual identity. However, the AGG does not protect against every form of unequal treatment.
Get to know the basics of the General Equal Treatment Act (AGG)
Each case of possible discrimination is unique and must be considered individually. It is helpful if the person who wants to invoke the AGG is as familiar as possible with the AGG law. One way to learn the basics of the General Equal Treatment Act is to participate in an online training course offered by Security Island. In the e-learning course, the topic is made understandable with many practical examples.
Our courses are delivered in SCORM 1.2 format. You can thus integrate the e-learning into your existing Learning Management System (LMS) or make it available to all desired employees via our in-house Online Academy.
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All our e-learning courses are written by experienced specialist authors who are an integral part of Security Island's courses. For content-related queries and adaptations, they are available to our customers with advice and support.