Professional equality

Discrimination in hiring: what evidence can the employee produce if he feels he is a victim?

Publié le null - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

Following several contracts of employment, you are not recruited on an indefinite contract and you consider that this is the result of discrimination in hiring because of your surname? What evidence can you produce to suggest it exists? Is a statistical analysis of recruitment by origin of employees’ surnames sufficient? This is what the Court of Cassation stated in a judgment of December 14, 2022.

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Image 1Crédits: Andrey Popov -

The fact that an employee is not recruited on a permanent contract (CDI) after several contracts of employment on the grounds of his non-European-sounding name is discrimination in recruitment. A statistical analysis prepared by the employee, showing in particular that the percentage of recruitment on a permanent contract is higher for employees whose name is European-sounding, suffices to suggest the existence of discrimination in recruitment, in the absence of any contrary evidence produced by the employer.

From 2015 to 2019, an employee performs several assignments for temporary expansion of activity in pre-editor and editor positions. In 2019, since he was not recruited on a permanent contract by the user company, he brought an action before the prud’homale court for discrimination in recruitment.

It produces a statistical analysis of employees. In particular, it compares the share of CDIs for employees with European-sounding names and for employees with non-European-sounding names. It reveals a number of disparities, some of which are very significant.

In the absence of evidence to the contrary produced by the employer, the Cour de cassation considers that that evidence, taken as a whole, suffices to suggest the existence of discrimination in recruitment.

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