The opinion was adopted in the procedure regarding the complaint that AA from … filed against the employer – the company BB from …, due to discrimination on the basis of marital and family status and on the basis of health condition. The complaint states, among other things, that the complainant concluded a fixed-term employment contract with her employer from 5.9.2021 until 5.10.2021, but that due to her child’s illness she had to take a sick leave on 16.9.2021. It is further stated that the complainant was informed by the employer on 17.9.2021 that her employment had been terminated, and that she considered that the employer had discriminated against her due to the fact that she had been forced to take a sick leave in order to care for a sick child. The statement of the employer on the allegations from the complaint, among other things, states that the employer reduced the volume of work in the first half of 2021, and that two out of three employees in the sales facility in Užice indicated that they will be going on maternity leave while the sales manager left for another employer, which is why the employer announced a job vacancy for the positions of salesman and store manager in Užice in June 2021. The employer further states that he was not able to organize an interview with the candidates, due to the period of holiday leave, and he hired the complainant with a fixed-term employment contract for a period of 30 days, which was extended because “it was not possible to interview the candidates within the forthcoming month.” The statement alleges that the complainant did not want to carry out the work orders of the manager, so the employment contract with the complainant was terminated. After the procedure, it was determined that, according to the special rule on redistribution of the burden of proof, prescribed in Article 45, paragraph 2, of the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination, the complainant made an act of discrimination probable, while the employer, in this specific case, did not offer adequate evidence that would corroborate his allegations that he did not terminate the employment contract of the complainant due to the fact that the complainant had taken a sick leave to care for a sick child. In other words, the employer did not prove that in this specific case there were objective reasons for the termination of the employment contract that were not causally related to the fact that the complainant had taken a sick leave to care for a sick child. Therefore, the Commissioner concluded that the employer violated the provisions of Article 6, in conjunction with Article 16, paragraph 1, of the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination, and recommended that the employer eliminate violations of rights that occurred as a result of discriminatory termination of the fixed-term employment contract, to acquaint employees with the opinion of the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality and not to violate the regulations on the prohibition of discrimination in the future by his treatment of employees.
COMMISSIONER FOR THE PROTECTION OF EQUALITY