Working conditions

Prevention of discrimination

The employer is obliged to respect the dignity and other personal rights of the employee. Dignity is self-esteem and self-respect. A person’s personal rights, such as, in particular, health, freedom, honour, freedom of conscience, surname or alias, image, secrecy of correspondence, inviolability of the dwelling, scientific, artistic, inventive and rationalisation creativity, remain protected by civil law irrespective of the protection provided by other laws.

Employees should be treated equally with regard to the establishment and termination of the employment relationship, terms and conditions of employment, promotion and access to training to improve their professional qualifications, in particular irrespective of sex, age, disability, race, religion, nationality, political opinion, trade union membership, ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, and irrespective of whether they are employed for a definite or indefinite period of time or on a full-time or part-time basis.

Any discrimination in employment, direct or indirect, in particular on the basis of the above criteria, is prohibited.

Direct discrimination exists when an employee, on one or more of the grounds of discrimination, has been, is or could be treated less favourably than other employees in a comparable situation.

Indirect discrimination exists where, as a result of an apparently neutral provision, criterion applied or action taken, there is or would be a disadvantage or a particular disadvantage in respect of the establishment and termination of the employment relationship, conditions of employment, promotion and access to training for the purpose of improving professional qualifications against all or a significant number of employees belonging to a group which has been singled out on one or more of the grounds of discrimination, unless the provision, criterion or action is objectively justified by a legitimate aim pursued and the means of achieving that aim are appropriate and necessary.

Widely applied under the provisions of work regulations or established customs, searches of crew members in order to prevent the removal of the employer’s property are lawful and do not violate the personal dignity of employees when the employees have been warned of the possibility of such checks (judgment of the Supreme Court of 13.4.1972, I PR 153/72, OSNCP 1972, No. 10, item 184). Similarly, an order justified by the circumstances to go to a police station in order to check the state of sobriety does not infringe upon the employee’s dignity (judgment of the Supreme Court of 15.10.1999, I PKN 309/99, OSNAPiUS 2001, No. 5, item 147). However, it is worth remembering that searches of employees must take place in a room separated from other employees and always by persons of the same sex as the employee being searched.

For example: according to the McDonald’s social code, an employer should counteract discrimination in its organisation. Anti-discrimination consists of elements such as training employees – so that they are able to recognise the behaviour directed towards them and know what to do to protect themselves against such unlawful practices. In addition, employees should be given the opportunity to communicate (including anonymously) about discriminatory practices that occur. Therefore, employees should be provided with, for example, a dedicated e-mail address or a box posted in the company somewhere out of the reach of surveillance cameras (so-called suggestion box). The employer must analyse all reports of discrimination sent by employees and take appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination from the workplace and prevent the risk of a similar situation recurring. In principle, all of the above regulations should be described in a discrimination prevention procedure and employees should be trained in such a procedure.