No protection from discrimination for fraudulent job applicants

29.09.2016

The ECJ has held in Kratzer v R+V Allegemeine Versicherung AG 2016 that there is no protection from discrimination where an individual applies for jobs they have no genuine interest in for the sole purpose of gaining compensation.
Mr Kratzer, a lawyer living in Germany, applied for a trainee legal graduate position advertised by RAV AG. The positions were advertised to recent graduates who also had some degree of practical vocational experience. Mr Kratzer’s application was rejected, and he complained to RAV AG, alleging age discrimination and demanding EUR 14,000 in compensation. RAV AG explained to Mr Kratzer that his application had been automatically rejected in error, and they invited him to attend an interview with their head of HR. Mr Kratzer declined, saying he would only discuss his future with RAV AG once he had received EUR 14,000, and he issued a claim. He later learnt that all positions had been given to females and issued a further sex discrimination claim for EUR 3,500.
Mr Kratzer’s claims were initially dismissed. He appealed and his case was referred to the ECJ. The ECJ was asked whether the Equal Treatment Framework Directive protects an individual who applies for a job not to gain employment but merely to obtain the status of applicant in order to bring claims for compensation. The national court also asked whether a situation such as this could be considered an abuse of rights under EU law.
The ECJ found that as Mr Kratzer’s application was not made with a view to obtain employment but only to claim compensation, he could not rely on the protection which the Directive affords. Furthermore, EU law could not be used for abusive or fraudulent ends. The ECJ said the national court should decide whether the facts amounted to abusive practice.