Germany: systematic and fraudulent misuse of “Anti-Discrimination” provisions

According to a newspaper report, the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Munich has confirmed that it has placed under accusation a lawyer who allegedly has created a “source of steady income” for himself by submitting bogus job applications for vacant jobs and then, upon rejection of those applications, bringing frivolous tort claims against the enterprises concerned on the basis of a law that prohibits “discrimination on the labour market” on grounds such as gender, age, race, sexual orientation, etc.

Already prior to the adoption of that controversial law, critics had warned that it could easily could be misused by vexatious litigants who just pretend to be interested in a job when in fact they are interested only in getting compensation payments. They exploit the fact that, even where such an anti-discrimination complaint is obviously unfounded, many companies prefer paying for an extra-judicial settlement rather than exposing themselves to the vagaries of civil litigation.

The case is of interest also in the context of the EU’s draft “Anti-Discrimination Directive”, which according to critics creates similar or even greater moral hazards.