Brazilian law prohibits any kind of discrimination, including distinction of salaries, duties and admission criteria due to gender, age, skin color or marital status and also prohibits any discriminatory acts with regards to distinction of salary and admission criteria of disabled employees. Furthermore, any kind of discriminatory practice, which may limit the access or maintenance of employment due to sex, origin, race, skin color, marital status, family situation, disability, professional rehabilitation and age, among others, is similarly prohibited.
Protections Against Harassment
Protection of personal intimacy of any Brazilian citizen is granted, in a broad scope, by the Federal Constitution, which (a) prohibits any kind of discrimination; (b) grants the protection and inviolability of any citizen’s image, honor, intimacy and personal life; and (c) sets forth that the noncompliance with such legal guarantees or the violation of their limits may be challenged, with the payment of indemnification due to moral harassment.
Moral harassment can be defined as the repeated exposure of employees to humiliating and embarrassing situations during the working hours and while employees perform their duties. On the other hand, sexual harassment can be defined as the repeated exposure of employees to conduct from their superiors with libidinous and malicious connotations. Companies may establish their own policies related to moral and sexual harassment.
Employer’s Obligation to Provide Reasonable Accommodations
Every company with 100 or more employees is obligated to hire 2% to 5% of employees who are disabled or in the process of being rehabilitated according to pre-defined proportionality. Companies are required to adapt their workplace structure to enable disabled employees to work and have a place for them at the company.
With regards to an employee’s religious practices, the Federal Constitution protects the freedom of religious belief. However, there is no specific provision under the law obligating the employer to accommodate the employee’s religious practices.
Brazilian Labour Courts are ruling that discriminatory termination of employees may result in reinstatement and indemnification due to moral damages. For instance, the termination of an employee with HIV or any other serious disease is presumed to be discriminatory and invalid, and the employee is entitled to reinstatement.
In Brazil, companies must observe two quotas: (i) employees with disabilities and (ii) apprentices. There is no other specific legislation regarding diversity in the workplace. However, several companies are adopting internal policies and affirmative actions that aim at increasing diversity in the workplace.