The opinion was issued in the proceedings regarding the complaint of AA against BB. In the complaint, it was stated that on February 14, 2019, during the visit of the President of the Republic to the preschool institution “GG”, where the complainant is employed, as a teacher, several photographs were taken of the entire team of the institution. The complaint further states that in the photo the complainant was standing in the immediate vicinity of the President. In the Viber group of the institution team, the mentioned photo was published the same evening, and below it was a message from BB, the director of the institution, with the following content: “Oh my, … you let the gypsy push her way through to him”. The complainant believes that she was discriminated against on the basis of belonging to the Roma national minority. In her statement on the allegations in the complaint, BB stated that it is questionable whether she, as a “legal entity”, committed a “wrongdoing” at the workplace, as stated, if she was at home, using her mobile phone. She further states that the disputed message does not refer to the complainant, that her name is not mentioned anywhere, and that she has never had any arguments or conflicts with colleagues at work, including AA, and that everything represents only her personal opinion, which she disagrees with, as do other employees of the institution. In the supplement to the statement, no evidence was submitted to support the allegations in the statement, that is, to clarify to whom the message was specifically addressed. During the proceedings, it was established that it is indisputable between the parties in the proceedings that the message was sent within the group, regarding the published photograph with the complainant. BB did not provide evidence to dispute the allegations of the complaint, that is, to clarify to whom the message was addressed. Applying the rule on the burden of proof prescribed in Article 45 of the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination, after the proceedings, the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality issued the opinion that by the message sent on February 14, 2019 in the Viber group, below the published photo of the team of the “GG” preschool institution, on which AA is standing in the immediate vicinity of the President of the Republic, with the following content: Oh my, … you let the gypsy push her way through to him”, BB harassed and violated the dignity of AA on the basis of her personal characteristic – belonging to the Roma national minority, thereby violating Article 12 of the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination. Therefore, BB was recommended to send a written apology to AA within 15 days from the day of receiving the opinion with a recommendation due to the discriminatory message of February 14, 2019, as well as to take care in the future that her statements and actions do not violate the legal regulations on prohibition of discrimination.
COMMISSIONER FOR THE PROTECTION OF EQUALITY