Public Defender Establishes Discrimination on Grounds of Disability in Pre-contractual Labour Relations

On 17 November 2020, the Public Defender of Georgia addressed the director of the Winery Khareba Company with a recommendation relating to the establishment of direct discrimination on the ground of disability in pre-contractual relations, as the applicant had been refused employment because of having obstetric paralysis in his left hand. The interests of the applicant were represented in the Public Defender's Office by the Partnership for Human Rights, a non-commercial legal entity.

The applicant informed the employer that he was entitled to tax deduction due to his disability status. As a result, the applicant was requested to leave the company. The company alleges they were forced to choose another candidate as the applicant was planning to travel abroad; in addition, according to the company, given the health condition that was declared by the applicant himself, his employment would be an irresponsible action.

Based on the positions expressed by the parties, the Public Defender found that the refusal of employment was based on the respondent's assumption that the applicant would not be able to fulfill his duties. It is disturbing that the respondent did not even assess whether the disability status would actually prevent the applicant from fulfilling the duty imposed on him.

The Public Defender regrets that stigma and stereotypical attitude towards people with disabilities remains a problem in the country. Therefore, it is necessary to protect their rights, respect their dignity, fight against stereotypes and prejudices.

Based on the above, the Public Defender called on the director of Winery Khareba Ltd not to allow discriminatory treatment in labour relations on disability or other grounds and to conduct its activities in accordance with the principle of equality in the future.

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