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New workplace discrimination and harassment rules take effect in Romania

Written by
Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen (NNDKP) largest boutique firm focusing on HR law.
Under a law published within the Official Gazette on 24 July 2020 Romania has introduced and amended a series of provisions in the Romanian Labour Code, in the field of discrimination and harassment at the workplace. These are set out below.

The content of main prohibition in the field of discrimination and harassment has been amended and completed to include any direct or indirect discrimination towards an employee, discrimination by association, harassment or an act of victimisation, based on race, citizenship, ethnicity, colour, language, religion, social origin, genetic traits, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, chronic non-contagious disease, HIV infection status, political option, family situation or responsibility, trade union membership or activity, belonging to a disadvantaged category.

The criteria on which dismissals are prohibited have also been updated to cover all the categories mentioned above.

The definitions of direct and indirect discrimination have been amended.

The concepts of harassment, discrimination by association, victimisation and any adverse treatment have also been introduced within the Labour Code and defined.

In addition, any behaviour that consists in ordering a person, in writing or orally, to use a form of discrimination based on one of the criteria above, against a person or persons, is considered discrimination.

The law provides that any exclusion, distinction, restriction or preference relating to a particular job will not constitute discrimination if, because of the specific nature of the activity in question or the conditions under which the activity is performed, there are certain essential and decisive professional requirements, provided that the purpose is legitimate and the requirements are proportionate.

Failure to comply with the provisions of the Labour Code in the field of discrimination in the workplace (Art. 5, Para. (2) to (9)) and non-compliance with the provisions regarding prohibition of dismissal based on the criteria mentioned above (Art. 59, Letter a)) are sanctioned by administrative fees ranging from RON 1,000 to RON 20.000.

Legislative details

The Law no. 151/23.07.2020 on the amendment and completion of Law no. 53/2003 (the Labour Code) was published in the Official Gazette no. 658 dated 24 July 2020.

Roxana Abrasu
Partner - Romania
Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen (NNDKP)
Gabriela Dinu
Managing Associate - Romania
Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen (NNDKP)