If you – being 50 years old – read a job advertisement addressed to people aged between 25 and 35 years, would you apply for the job?

The petitioner in a recently decided case inGermanydid, but wasn’t invited for a job interview. Instead, the company invited another applicant for an interview and in the end employed no one at all.

The rejected applicant claimed a compensation payment of more than EUR 25,000.00. He argued that he was discriminated against because of his age, as he objectively fulfilled the job’s requirements.

The company argued that the free position was not filled at all, so the petitioner wasn’t treated worse than any other applicant.

The German Federal Labour Court decided that discrimination is not excluded by the fact that the position was not filled at all. Therefore rejected claimants can – in general – make claims for compensation payments if they are objectively qualified for the advertised position.

To avoid such claims, companies should be aware of the possible breach of anti-discrimination laws (which ban discrimination due to race, ethnic origin, gender, religion, disability, age and sexual identity) and therefore carefully choose the wording of their job advertisements.


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