Reduced fine for sexist job ad
The Faroese Court today sentenced a store in Argir with a DKK 1,000 fine plus legal costs for breaching the Sex Discrimination Act 1994.
The store’s management was taken to court after the Equal Status Council reported a job advert specifying that a warehouse-based position was suitable for men only.
The private limited company was sentenced for posting a job advert which specified ‘man’, rather than ‘employee’, for a position in its warehouse. The advert was posted twice on a public website last year.
“This job is so physically demanding that it can only be performed by men,” the company’s managing director and the committee chairwoman claimed in last week’s pre-court hearing.
“It involves too much heavy lifting for a woman. That’s why we wanted to hire a man.”
The prosecution argued that instead of specifying ‘a man’ in the job advert, the company should have written ‘a physically strong person’.
At the pre-court hearing, the prosecution called for a DKK 5,000 fine, while the firm pleaded not guilty.
It was decided in court today that the management’s misunderstanding of the wording of the Sex Discrimination Act counted as a mitigating factor, and the company was subsequently fined DKK 1,000 and ordered to pay the legal costs.
Another mitigating factor was that the Equal Status Council lacks clear guidelines on how the relevant section of the Sex Discrimination Act should be interpreted.
The Equal Status Council says is illegal for an employer to post job adverts that in any way discriminate between the sexes, except for when the job is unconditionally gender-linked.
According to today’s ruling, the job advert clearly discriminated between men and women as a physically strong woman could easily have performed the job to the required standard.
This case forms a precedent in the Danish Kingdom.
Translated by prosa.fo.