New Anti-Discrimination Rules
Parliament has approved draft law no. 151/2020 which amends the Labor Code. The new law is intended to align the existing provisions on discrimination under the Labor Code with the provisions under Government Ordinance no. 137/2000 on the prevention and sanctioning of all forms of discrimination, which itself aims to implement fully the provisions of Directives 2000/43/EC, 2000/78/EC, 2004/113/EC and 2006/54/EC.
The new legislation amends the forbidden discrimination criteria to include discrimination by association, harassment or victimisation, discrimination based on citizenship, language, genetic traits (replacing the former genetic characteristics criteria), chronic non-communicable diseases, HIV infection and membership in a disadvantaged category.
In addition, all these new criteria have also been included as reasons for which it is forbidden to dismiss an employee.
Forms of discrimination
The definitions of direct and indirect discrimination have been amended to cover any act, deed, criteria, practice or action that would disadvantage any individual based on the above amended discrimination criteria.
The new law also provides definitions for the criteria of discrimination by association, harassment and victimisation.
Additionally, any behaviour that consists of ordering, whether in writing or verbally, a person to use any form of discrimination against another person or persons based on one of the amended criteria above, is also considered to be discrimination.
The new law also provides that, where the specific nature of an activity or the conditions under which the activity is carried out requires certain essential and decisive professional requirements (with legitimate purpose and proportionality), any exclusion, distinction, restriction or preference in respect of a particular job does not constitute discrimination.
In addition to the above, Law 151/2020 seeks to eliminate discrimination by sanctioning such behaviours and by sanctioning the dismissal of employees based on such criteria by imposing fines of between RON 1,000 and RON 20,000 (i.e. approximately EUR 200 and EUR 4,000).
Law 151/2020 was published in the Romanian Official Gazette, Part I, no. 658 on 24 July 2020 and came into force on 27 July 2020.