Slovak appeals court confirms that town discriminated against Romani woman and must compensate her
The Slovak town of Spišská Nová Ves discriminated against a Romani woman during a selection procedure for a job as a field social worker and must now compensate her. The Regional Court in Košice fully identified with and upheld the first-instance judgment of the District Court in Spišská Nová Ves, which ruled to that effect in March 2017.
This is one of the first such judgments to take effect from the Slovak courts in a case of racial discrimination in access to employment that has found in favor of the discriminated person. The Romani woman applied for a job as a field social worker in Spišská Nová Ves in 2010.
Despite the fact that she had the required education and many years of practice with field work in Romani communities, another applicant was hired for the job who was not Romani, was less qualified, had less practical experience, and did not speak Romanes. The Fund for Social Development, which was financing the position at the time, subsequently expressed doubts about the lawfulness of the course of the selection procedure at the instigation of the discriminated woman, Ms Pompová - but of course, the fund was not able to reverse the town's decision.
Ms Pompová's efforts to achieve justice have lasted almost eight years. The District Court and the Regional Court initially rejected her lawsuit.
The case was also ruled on by the Constitutional Court of Slovakia, which heard her complaint in December 2015 and returned the entire case to the District Court to try again. In March 2017 that court decided in favor of the plaintiff and the case subsequently made its way to the Regional Court in Košice after the town appealed.
The Regional Court's judgment has now confirmed that the town discriminated against the woman in her access to employment because of her ethnicity. In addition to an apology, the town must pay the woman compensation for her non-pecuniary damages in the amount of EUR 2 500.
In its judgment, the Regional Court fully identified with the justification of the District Court, which stated that the town had not managed to explain its hiring of an applicant with lower qualifications and less practical experience through any kind of rational argument, and that the town had also not managed to explain the doubts that arose about the transparency of the entire selection process. However, neither court awarded the plaintiff compensation in the fully requested amount of EUR 5 000.
Both courts stated that the EUR 2 500 awarded was adequate compensation. The decision has taken effect and can no longer be appealed.
The plaintiff had the following to say about the Regional Court judgment: "This decision by the Regional Court has greatly pleased me. I am very glad that my effort to seek justice was ultimately not in vain. I believe my success could inspire others to not fear standing up to discrimination, human rights violations, and iniquity. Employers should never refuse people seeking jobs just because of their ethnic origin. I also believe my case will improve the way courts decide such cases for others in the future."
Free legal aid for the plaintiff during the court proceedings has been facilitated this entire time by the NGO Center for Civil and Human Rights, which is based in Košice. An attorney collaborating with the center who was the plaintiff's legal representative, Vanda Durbáková, had this to say about the court decision: "The verdict of the Regional Court in favor of this client is something I see as positive. However, the courts must fundamentally accelerate their decision-making in cases of discrimination in the future and the discriminated persons must be adequately compensated. It is crucial that the courts send the clear signal that it does not pay to discriminate."
- Slovakia: Second Romani schoolchild dies after February car accident
- UN: Slovakia must act to eliminate racism against Roma
- Czech and Slovak Victims of Coercive Sterilization Await Justice
- Slovak ultra-right MP tried for extremism after making xenophobic remarks about Roma
- Stano Daniel: A message from Slovakia. First, words fall. Then people.
- Slovak President Kiska discusses Romani settlements and Interior Ministry's plans for repression
- Illegally sterilized Romani women from Slovakia and the Czech Republic launch online petition as part of their fight for justice
- Slovak anti-Romani law protested by Amnesty International, Justice Minister and Plenipotentiary for Roma Affairs
- International Czech and Slovak Romani community rocked by mysterious death of nine-year-old girl in England
- Slovak MP charged with insulting Romani people and inciting hatred on the radio
- Hungary: Romani duo from Slovakia win the "X Factor" music competition
- Slovakia-based stockholder in pig farm on Romani genocide site suing over sale to Czech Republic - twice
- Slovakia: Debacle in elections for the neofascists, Kotleba out as Regional Governor
- Slovak Police say shooting incident not racially motivated, gunmen wanted sex and didn't get it
- Slovakia: Five machine gun bullets fired into home of Romani family, suspects in custody
- Amnesty International: We demand justice for the victims of the Slovak Police raid on the Roma settlement of Moldava nad Bodvou
- Slovak Presidential elections: Frontrunner speaks Romanes when thanking first-round voters
- Attack on mosques in New Zealand inspired by historical and present-day European violence, from the Balkans to Norway
- German neo-Nazis are training for street battles on "D-Day", hoping to take power
- Young teacher describes how antigypsyism is alive and well in Czech primary education
- Czech court sentences Romani man to six months in prison for hate speech against the Czech President and others
- Romani girl who won race in Slovakia while running in flats keeps on winning
- Czech prosecutor reviewing local election slogan referencing "pests" and "poison"
- Czech court conditionally suspends prosecution of man who threatened to kill Romani celebrity
- Slovakia: "Invisible Roma" protest insult by the speaker of Parliament
- Romani band Bengas issues new video protesting racist attacks after performer moves away from the Czech Republic
- Renata Berkyová: Czech sitcom is rocking the Czech-Romani world
- Romani community opinion divided over new Czech Television sitcom with Romani characters