Employees cannot be discriminated against throughout the duration of the employment contracts, including access thereto and termination thereof. The law expressly prohibits discrimination grounded on parentage, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, family situation, economic situation, education, origin or social conditions, genetic heritage, reduced work capacity, disability, chronic disease, nationality, ethnic origin or race, territory of origin, language, religion, political or ideological beliefs and affiliation with trade union, without prejudice of other discrimination grounds.
Protections Against Harassment
In 2019, amendments to the Portuguese Labour Code established: i) additional duties to respect and treat fellow employees with urbanity and probity, ruling out any acts that may affect the employee’s dignity, which are discriminatory, harmful, intimidatory, hostile or humiliating to the employee, namely harassment: ii) the disciplinary penalty to be deemed abusive, when inflicted on employees claiming to be victims of harassment or who are appointed as witnesses in a judicial and/or administrative offence for harassment; iii) a breach of legal or contractual guarantees against discrimination and in particular, acts that qualify as harassment by the employer or fellow employees, become grounds for termination for cause of the contract by the initiative of the affected employee, allowing him/her to seek compensation. Moreover, the Authority for the Conditions of Work must provide an electronic address for the reception of harassment complaints and must include information on harassment and harassment preventive, fighting and reaction measures in its Internet site.
Employer’s Obligation to Provide Reasonable Accommodations
There is no specific provision or requirement for employer to provide accommodations to employees. In certain sectors, collective bargaining agreements may establish rules on accommodation provisions or on the payment of allowances for the purposes of supporting reasonable accommodation, particularly in cases where the employee is temporarily displaced and prevented from performing his work.
Discrimination and harassment are forbidden and employees who are the object of discrimination or harassment acts may claim indemnification and compensation for monetary and non-monetary damages caused. The liability of the employer to compensate damages arising from an occupational disease caused by harassment, is subject to further regulation, yet to be approved.
Gender quotas apply to governing and supervisory bodies of public sector business entities and of listed companies, for nominations occurring as from January 1, 2018. Public sector companies must have a minimum representation of 33.3% of male and female members in the different governing bodies of the company. In the private sector (i.e. listed companies), companies are required to fulfill the minimum quota requirement of 33.3% from the first electoral general assembly, held as of January 1, 2020. As such, these new requirements shall not apply to existing mandates (except when they are renewed or substituted). Public-sector companies and listed companies will also have to draw up, annually, equality plans to achieve effective equal treatment and opportunities for men and women, by promoting the elimination of gender-based discrimination, and promoting the reconciliation of personal, family and professional lives. Minimum quotas for disabled workers (disability levels equal or over 60% disability classification) are also applicable to medium and large-sized enterprises, when engaging and organising their workforce. The quotas applicable are the following: i) medium-sized enterprises: 1% quota for disabled workers; and ii) large-sized enterprises: 2% quota for disabled workers. These percentages are based on the average number of employees in the previous calendar year. These are requirements that were introduced in February 2019 and four and five year transition periods are in place, depending on whether the company exceeds 100 persons employed.