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Vexatious Job Applicants – Reassuring Judgement for Employers

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In the recent case of Kratzer R+V Allgemeine Versicherung AG, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) considered a situation whereby Mr Kratzer made a job application for a trainee position for graduates, which was rejected. He then complained and demanded compensation of €14,000 for age discrimination.

The employer stated that the rejection was as a result of an error and invited Mr Kratzer to interview but he declined. He said he wanted to be paid his compensation before discussing his future with them and when the Company refused to pay this he brought claims in a domestic court for age and sex discrimination, which were dismissed.

The ECJ held that where an individual applies for a job only in order to seek compensation for discrimination, and not to secure employment, they will not be covered by European legislation aimed at preventing discrimination of job applicants and those in employment. In this situation, the individual could not be said to be a victim of discrimination or have suffered loss or damage. Therefore, there was no entitlement to compensation.

This is a reassuring decision for employers who may be concerned that vexatious litigants could seek to rely on the protection offered by EU law to simply seek financial gain rather than access to employment.

Written by
Rachael Jessop
31st August 2016