GFF is supporting a ZDF journalist’s complaint alleging gender pay discrimination
An award-winning investigative journalist filed suit against her employer, German national public TV broadcaster ZDF, in the spring of 2015. She had found out that she had been paid less than her male colleagues for many years, despite doing the same or comparable work, having comparable qualifications, and in some instances even being more experienced. Many indications, among them company documents, paint a clear picture of gender pay discrimination. The claim was nevertheless dismissed by the Berlin Labor Court (Arbeitsgericht) in the first instance in December 2016. The Regional Labor Court (Landesarbeitsgericht) of Berlin-Brandenburg dismissed the appeal. The reporter has now lodged a further appeal with the Federal Labor Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht).
Germany’s gender pay gap remains one of the highest in Europe. According to the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), women on average earn 6% less than their male counterparts for the same job with the same scope and qualifications. These findings already exclude factors such as part-time work, the over-representation of women in lower paid sectors, etc.; overall, women in Germany even earn on average 21% less than men. Pay discrimination is prohibited under European and German law. However, many women cannot or will not complain: They either lack information about their male colleagues’ salaries or fear reprisal from their employers or their colleagues.
GFF is committed to defending fundamental human rights, including freedom from all forms of individual discrimination. Equality in the important area of remuneration has yet to be fully realized. Women have the right to be paid the same as their male colleagues for doing the same job. Gender pay equity is a fundamental human right that is not only comprehensively guaranteed in international and European law, but also derives from Article 3(2) and (3) of the German Basic Law and the German General Equal Treatment Act. It is crucial that the right to gender pay equity does not only exist on paper, but is put into effect on women’s paychecks.
The support of GFF
GFF is supporting this case in order to enhance and vindicate the right to equal pay. The plaintiff is represented by an experienced anti-discrimination lawyer, Dr. Klaus Bertelsmann. GFF is thus not formally involved in the proceedings as a party but supports the case by helping the public and professional circles understand the intricacies of the legal situation as well as advocating the legal claims of the plaintiff. Help the GFF to effectively secure and defend freedom from discrimination!
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