The Labor Courts of the city of Buenos Aires, in the case – “B. E. c/ Estado Nacional (Ministerio de Trabajo y Seguridad Social de la Nación) y otros s/ acción de amparo” ordered several transportation companies to hire at least 30% of female bus drivers, even when in Argentina there is currently no specific law providing a minimum quota of female employees to be hired by employers. This percentage was determined in accordance with the quota provided by union laws for female union delegates.
Labor Law 20,744 as well as Law No. 23,592 and international treaties entered by Argentina prohibit discrimination. If an employee is discriminated because of race, religion, age, gender, disability or political or union activities, the employer’s actions can be declared null or void, and the employer can be ordered to both reinstate the dismissed employee and compensate the employee for any damages caused. Argentina has also ratified ILO treaties 100 and 156 about equal salary, equal opportunities and equal treatment for employees, both women and men. Additionally, Law 26,485 prohibits any kind of violence against women in their working place.
In this particular case, the Labor Court considered that the bus company was discriminating against women at the time of hiring bus drivers, due to the fact that from a total of 1,936 bus drivers hired by these transportation companies, only 2 are women and that in some cases, some companies had no women at all hired as bus drivers.
The Labor Court considered that 30% was a reasonable and fair quota, in accordance with the quota provided by union laws for female union delegates, provided by Law 25,674.
The Labor Court also ordered the bus company to pass a hiring policy by which it guarantees equal access and opportunities for being hired as bus drivers.
This case law shows that the Labor Courts in Argentina understand that even when there is no specific law in this respect, in order for employers not to discriminate against women, female employees should make up at least 30% of their workforce.