The base of anti-discrimination protection is set is the Constitution, the Labour Code and the Anti-Discrimination Act.
The following characteristics are considered protected grounds for discrimination purposes: sex, sexual orientation, racial or ethnic origin, nationality, citizenship, social origin, family line, language, health state, age, religion or belief, property, marital and family status and relationship or liabilities to a family, political or other opinions, membership and activity in political parties or political movements, trade unions or organisations.
Extent of Protection
Any form of discrimination in labour relations is prohibited, in particular, discrimination based on the terms, such as the direct characteristics mentioned above.
Discrimination can be considered as direct or indirect. Direct discrimination means conduct (or omission) whereby one person is treated less favourably than another is, has been or would be treated in a comparable situation based on a protected ground. Indirect discrimination means such conduct (or omission) whereby, on the basis of a seemingly neutral provision, criteria or practice, a person is disadvantaged compared to others for one of the above stated protected grounds. Both forms, i.e., direct and indirect, are prohibited under Czech law.
Protections Against Harassment
Harassment means undesirable behaviour related to discrimination grounds which: (a) has the intention or effect of diminishing the dignity of a person and creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment; or (b) may legitimately be perceived as a condition of a decision affecting the exercise of rights and obligations arising from legal relationships. Sexual harassment means conduct as defined in the previous sentence that is sexual in nature. Harassment is considered a type of discrimination, thus the protection to employees is provided as in the case of discrimination.
Employer’s Obligation to Provide Reasonable Accommodations
There is no law regarding such employer’s obligations, but under the Labour Code, the employer must provide a suitable room for a breastfeeding mother in the workplace.
In the case of personal interference, the employee has the right, according to Antidiscrimination law, to demand:
- that the discrimination be stopped;
- that the consequences of the discriminatory interference be eliminated;
- that he/she be given adequate satisfaction.
Employers having more than 25 employees are required to either employ a certain percentage of disabled workers, buy services/goods from specific entities, or pay a specified fee to the state.
There are numerous entitlements for mothers and also other employees taking care of a child:
- mothers have the right to breaks for breastfeeding (which should be considered as working time);
- pregnant and breastfeeding women cannot be employed in certain positions (mainly relating to work with chemicals, work which may be potentially harmful to health, work which they are not able to do according to their medical report, etc.);
- pregnant woman cannot work overtime and employees taking care of a child under the age of 1 cannot be unilaterally ordered to work overtime;
- should a pregnant or breastfeeding woman, or a woman who gave birth in the last 9 months and who is normally working at night request day work, the employer must approve the employee’s request;
- if an employee who takes care of a child under 15 wishes to work part time or has some other demands regarding the modification of working hours, the employer should comply with this request unless there are serious operational reasons for not allowing such work;
- an employee who looks after a child under the age of 8 might be sent on a business trip only with his/her explicit consent (the same applies to a single parent taking care of a child under 15).
In addition, should the employee need to take care of a child under the age of 10, he/she is entitled to an allowance paid by the Social Security of up for 9 consecutive days. In the case of a single parent, he/she is entitled to 16 days allowance to take care of a child under the age of 16.