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Germany: Equal opportunities

Updating author: Johanna Reiland, Osborne Clarke, Germany

Original author: Karen Ullmann

See the legal services provided by the author of International > Germany, including any discounts/offers for subscribers.


  • Direct and indirect discrimination in employment is prohibited on various grounds. (See General)
  • Difference in treatment on the prohibited grounds is permitted in certain circumstances. (See Exemptions)
  • There are various legal rules specific to discrimination on each of the prohibited grounds. (See Specific provisions)
  • Harassment and sexual harassment are prohibited. (See Harassment and sexual harassment)
  • Employees are protected against victimisation by their employer. (See Victimisation)
  • Employers may take positive action to abolish existing inequalities concerning one of the prohibited grounds. (See Positive action)
  • Employers must compensate employees who have suffered discrimination unless the employer was not responsible. (See Remedies and penalties)