Proposals for strengthening of the Anti-discrimination Law

On the basis of the equality principle in Article 3 (3) of the German Basic Law, the right to equal treatment is guaranteed as a basic right.

With the General Act on Equal Treatment (AGG), which came into force more than ten years ago, the German government transposed four European Union equal treatment directives into national law.

The AGG provides legal protection for people who, either in the context of employment or other civil law contracts such as sales or rental contracts, experience unjustified unequal treatment on the grounds of their ethnicity, their gender, their religion, a disability, their age or their sexual identity. It establishes the possibility to claim damages or compensation for unequal treatment before courts.

However, discrimination does not occur only in the context of private law, which is covered by the AGG. In many parts, the AGG excludes many occurrences of discrimination from its scope. Other areas where discrimination can occur as well, such as governmental actions, are nevertheless not covered. This either complicates or prevents the enforcement of rights to equal treatment.

Since 2010, BUG has been gaining practical experience by supporting legal actions reliant upon the AGG, and has for the first time, published its “Proposal for a revision of the AGG” in March of 2014. Taking note of the “Evaluation of the AGG by the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency” from October 2016 (in German) and in accordance with further analysis by BUG, we are hereby presenting more proposals which go beyond a revision of the AGG. In addition, we propose supplements for the protection against discrimination in other legal fields.

The present dossier is structured according to the following questions:

Where …

                  does the AGG breach European legal standards?

                  should the AGG be specified or adjusted?

                  in the AGG should be made deletions?

                  … could further protective aspects be included in the AGG?