The discrimination is illegal in the Czech Republic. It means different treatment of people on the basis of prohibited reasons which takes place in specified areas of legal relations. There is no reasonable or legitimate reason for such different treatment. These may include situations when a real estate broker dismisses an applicant for an offered apartment because he/she is Roma or when a primary school refuses to accept for education a child with disability. The discrimination shall not apply to cases when different treatment has a reasonable justification.
The anti-discrimination act prohibits the following reasons for different treatment:
- race, ethnical origin or nationality – discrimination is when a restaurant or a shop refuses to serve a person because he/she is Roma, when they do not admit him/her for work for that reason, when doctors refuse to treat him/her, or real estate brokers to lease an apartment, but also when the school refuses to admit the client’s child to school. It is important to immediately defend yourselves against such behaviour, because based on legislation, all people have the same access to education, work, housing, medical care or goods in shops.
- age – discrimination on the basis of an age means situation when the client is treated in a less favourable manner than others because he/she had reached a certain age. For some, he/she may just be too old which is not fair. It may happen that the client wants to arrange for a service, such as when a bank refuses to issue a credit card to such a person. Very often, this discrimination occurs when the client is looking for a job or when the employer is trying to get rid of the given employee by any measures. It also happens that the employer provides different remuneration to the client than to those who are younger.
- gender, pregnancy, parenthood – situations when someone treats the client less favourably than others because he is a man or she is a woman, or because he/she has children. Pregnancy may also be the reason for discrimination. In the modern times, not only women but also men may go on parental leave. The discrimination often occurs when parents, upon returning from the maternal/parental leave, want to modify the extent of the working time. The discrimination may also occur when the hospital prioritizes mothers over fathers that only those may accompany their hospitalized children.
- disability – situation when the client is treated in a less favourable manner than others because he/she is a disabled person or someone considers him/her as a disabled person, even though it is not the case, or if the client is in close relation to a person with disability. For some, disability may lead to bullying at work. It may happen that the town will not want to meet the client’s needs even if he/she meets all the conditions for acquiring the municipal flat. There may be problems with a videophone and the helpfulness of the flat cooperative to people with disabilities. Or there will be no parking space to be found for the client.
- sexual orientation or gender identification – someone is treating the client in a worse manner than others because
- he/she is a person with the minority sexual orientation or is transgender,
- someone considers the client to be a person with the minority sexual orientation or is transgender, even though it is not the case, or
- the client is in close relation to a person with the minority sexual orientation or a transgender person.
These are situations when they refuse to lease a flat to the client because he/she wanted to share it with a partner of the same gender, that they refuse to serve a client at a restaurant because he/she kissed a person of the same gender, or the client’s employment is terminated because the employer had learnt that he/she is a gay, lesbian or a transgender person. The discrimination also includes cases when people in diverse areas of life task the trans people with unreasonable and unjustified obstacles (trans people may have difficulties to receive a modified credit sheet or university diploma after the change of their gender).
- religious belief, world view
- citizenship = someone treats the client in a worse manner than other people just because of his/her citizenship. For example:
- During a job interview, they told the client that they only hire Czech citizens.
- The employer had on a mass scale terminated employments with employees who do not have permanent residence here.
- The employer does not want to promote the client because he/she is a foreigner.
- They have not hired the client because he/she has a diploma from a foreign university.
- The town grants municipal flats to Czech citizens only.
- A hotel charges foreign guests higher prices than Czech guests.
- A doctor refused to register a client because he was not born in the Czech Republic.
If you have become a victim of discrimination or are under the belief that discrimination might have occurred, it is good to have this discrimination or suspicion inspected by the Public Protector of Rights (“Ombudsman”). Necessary documents for submitting initiatives shall be specified by the Office of the Public Protector of Rights (KVOP).
Ombudsman – Údolní 39, Brno, www.ochrance.cz , tel.: 542 542 888
The initiatives in relation to potential discrimination may also be submitted to the below-specified institutions, but we can mainly recommend you to contact the ombudsman’s office first because they will also provide advice regarding how to proceed in the matter.
- Supreme Court in Brno – Burešova 20, 657 37 Brno, tel.: 541 593 111
- Supreme Administrative Court – Moravské náměstí 6, 657 40 Brno, tel.: 542 532 311
- High Court in Prague – Náměstí Hrdinů 1300, 140 00 Praha 4, tel.: 261 196 111
- High Court in Olomouc – Masarykova třída 1, 771 11 Olomouc, tel.: 585 532 111
- Regional Court in Brno – Rooseveltova 16, 601 95 Brno, tel.: 546 511 111
- Municipal Court in Brno – Polní 994/39, 608 01 Brno, tel.: 546 511 111
- Ministry of Justice of the CR – Vyšehradská 16, 128 10 Praha 2, tel.: 221 997 111
- State Office of Labour Inspection – Kolářská 451/13, 746 01 Opava, tel.: 950 179 101
The list of all courts may be found here: https://www.justice.cz/soudy