European Court of Justice: Dismissal for sexual orientation is illegal


European Union


Photo ANP, Robin van Lonkhuijsen

The European Court of Justice ruled that companies may not fire self-employed workers because of their sexual orientation.

The case was about a television freelancer who was fired after he published a video that promoted LGBT tolerance, DW reports. According to the European Court, the EU law on equal treatment in employment and occupation protects employees against discrimination, including on the grounds of one's sexual orientation. The judges said that "to accept that freedom of contract allows a refusal to contract with a person on the ground of that person's sexual orientation would deprive Directive 2000/78 and the prohibition of any discrimination based on that ground, of its practical effect."

The television freelancer had already sued the national public broadcaster TP for his dismissal after working for them for seven years. The company had refused to renew his contract because of his sexual orientation. The direct reason for the dismissal is that the freelancer published a Christmas song on YouTube that promoted tolerance for same-sex relationships.

However, the Polish court rejected the case, referring to a national law that sexual orientation may play a role in the decision to employ people. As a result, the freelancer took his case to the European Court.



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