Extent of Protection
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
A number of reinforced legal measures for the prevention of harassment in labour context have been in force as from the last quarter 2017 providing for new obligations on the part of the employer. 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 to provide his/her 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 occupational disease caused by harassment is subject to further regulation yet to be approved.
The following requirements were introduced in February 2019 and four- and five- year transition periods are in place, depending on whether the company exceeds 100 persons employed –
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 a minimum 20% quota of each gender, from the first electoral general assembly held as of the 1st of January 2018. The minimum quota requirement will increase to 33.3% from the first electoral general assembly held as of January 1, 2020. The aforementioned limits are to be introduced in the first shareholder meeting held after the mentioned dates. 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. These must be published on the company’s website and sent to the Commission for Citizenship, and to the Gender Equality and the Commission for Equality in Labour and Employment.
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.