Jobless Man Sues Company That Wanted Female Secretary

A jobless man has been paid 3,900 EUR (3,353 GBP) in damages after complaining that he was discriminated against because a firm looking for a secretary had asked for a woman.

The court heard that the unemployed jobseeker was not qualified to be a secretary working for a picture agency, but applied anyway and then filed a discrimination claim when he did not get the job.

The applicant, identified only as 25-year-old Jannik W., had also refused to take up an alternative job as a picture editor that the company had offered him, not even replying to the company managers.

But the court ruled that despite his lack of qualifications, and the fact that the ‘CityPress’ picture agency in the German capital Berlin had actually hired a man for the job, did not detract from the fact that the advert specifically requested woman.

In the German language, roles can be specified as male or female and the advert had specifically used the female form instead of a more gender neutral term.

CityPress CEO Marco Leipold said: “The candidate did not have any certificates, experience or other qualifications on his CV. This is the only reason he did not get the 25-hour part-time job as secretary.”

Instead of a reply to his offer an alternative job, Leipold received a summons to appear at a Berlin labour court after the job applicant sued the company for discrimination.

The court agreed with Jannik’s reasoning and ordered CityPress to pay him 3,900 EUR (3,353 GBP) in damages.

The female judge said that the “job advert is only available for woman and that is discriminatory”.

That was despite the fact that Leipold told the court they had taken on a man anyway saying: “Before the lawsuit, we hired a male applicant with the appropriate training who had applied for the vacancy.”

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Story By: Koen BerghuisSub-EditorJoseph Golder, Agency: Central European News



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