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04. Anti-Discrimination Laws

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04. Anti-Discrimination Laws

Summary

The discrimination grounds prohibited are religion, conviction or belief, disability, age, sexual orientation, real or assumed belonging to an ethnic group. Criminal law also prohibits discrimination if it is based on gender, sexual orientation, health issues or disability, nationality, real or assumed ethnic background or origin, political or philosophical belief, and union membership. The law of 28 November 2006 transposed into Luxembourg law, two EU directives (Directive 2000/43/EC and 2000/78/EC). This law amended Luxembourg’s Labour Code and introduced into book II of the Code, a new title (V) relating to equal treatment in employment and occupation. The law of 13 May 2008 modified the rules on gender equality by transposing Directive 2000/78/EC, establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment.

Extent of Protection

The discrimination can be direct (being treated less advantageously) or indirect (a neutral practice having a negative effect only on the persons discriminated against).

Protections Against Harassment

In order to implement into national law, the framework agreement concluded on 26 April 2007 by social partners at the European level, the Luxembourg unions signed an agreement on moral harassment and violence in the workplace on 25 June 2009. This agreement has been declared as a general obligation by the Grand-Ducal Regulation dated 15 December 2009 and thus applies to every employer in the country. Employers must indicate that they will not tolerate any form of moral harassment or violence in the business. They must also remind managers and other employees that each of them is responsible for ensuring that such acts do not occur in the workplace. Even if employers are not the perpetrator of the act of harassment or violence at work, they could be held liable for such an act as they are responsible for the prevention and penalisation of such behaviour. If a prohibited act occurs, the employer must conduct an internal evaluation, in particular on the efficiency of established preventive measures. The employer must implement a management procedure to address any issues with harassment and work-related violence.

Employer’s Obligation to Provide Reasonable Accommodations

Employers with more than 25 employees must allocate a certain percentage of positions to disabled workers. To help employers comply with this requirement, the State may take over some of the costs incurred with regard to the payment of wages, vocational training, adaptation of workstations and physical access to work, transport and the provision of adequate professional equipment.

Remedies

A fine, prison sentence or both (penalties) can be imposed in case of discrimination. The employee can bring a claim at any time during the work contract. The Labour and Mines Inspectorate is in charge of enforcing compliance with the principle of non-discrimination.

Any questions

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