Czech authorities could levy hefty fines against authors of discriminatory classified ads saying Roma need not apply
News server TN.cz reports that a reader recently brought a couple of discriminatory classified advertisements to their attention. Both were openly discriminatory against Romani people.
The author of one of the ads is defending its wording. "Easy job, possible even for women. I am not a company, I need a gardener. The train stops at my house. Gy psies need not apply. I pay per hour according to the work done. I only hire those who want to work and I appreciate it," a Mr Jiří from South Moravia writes in one ad offering CZK 130 [EUR 5] per hour for this work.
"It's divided up, the word [Gypsies] is not published there as a whole. The second reason is that it's there because I've had such a bad experience with them [Romani people] that I don't want them anymore," Mr Jiří told the TN.cz newsroom.
Mr Jiří went on to say that he could not imagine he would encounter any kind of problems after placing the ad. "Let everybody do what they want," he said.
"It's not meant in a bad way," he claimed to TN.cz. The other classified ad that was brought to the attention of the news server came from Liberec, where the author sought temporary workers for cutting glass wool.
"Starting immediately, Roma and alcoholics need not apply," the author of that ad says at the end. That particular offer of an opportunity to make extra money has since disappeared from the online classified ad server.
TN.cz contacted the operator of the Bazoš website, where both of the classified ads had appeared, to learn how they deal with such posts and whether they take action against their authors. "If administrators run across such a classified ad, they should delete it on the grounds of discrimination. If a user runs across it, they always have the option of reporting the ad," Radim Smička, operator of the portal, emphasized to TN.cz.
According to the experienced attorney Jan Černý, these are unequivocally instances of racism. "If an employer can be proven to have committed this, then the employer can be fined. I don't see this as a felony offense, but it certainly is a misdemeanor. For that, there is the risk of a fine of several thousand crowns. The person concerned will decidedly not avoid punishment by adapting the grammar of the ad," the attorney warned, adding that if the person placing the ad is a tradesperson, the trade licensing office could eventually levy a penalty.
Richard Kolibač, spokesperson for the State Office of Labor Inspection, is of the same opinion. "The relevant Labor Inspections for those areas will now be investigating the classified advertisements that were published. According to the Act on Employment, discrimination of any kind is forbidden during the exercise of the right to employment, including discrimination on the basis of age, sex, race or personal convictions. Employers are also not allowed to place classified advertisements of a discriminatory nature," he told TN.cz.
Labor Inspections, according to the spokesperson, monitor classified advertising themselves and in cases of discriminatory ones either track down the authors or directly initiate an administrative proceedings against them if it is clear who posted the incorrect job offer. "Violation risks a fine of up to one million crowns, for both natural persons and legal ones," he said.
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