MINELRES: Czech Republic: Two court rulings on racial discrimination cases

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Wed Apr 6 10:02:02 2005

Original sender: Roma Network <romale@zahav.net.il>


Rossmann does not appeal, apologises to, compensates Romany woman

PRAGUE- The international drugstore chain Rossmann has withdrawn its
appeal in the case of racial discrimination and has apologised to and
compensated the damaged Romany woman Renata Kotlarova, her defence
lawyer David Strupek said. Kotlarova applied for a job in a drugstore in
Cheb, west Bohemia, but the firm rejected her application without
talking to her.

Rossmann originally appealed last April's verdict, but it withdrew its
appeal recently and the court verdict has taken effect, Strupek said.

"My client has got 50,000 crowns and also received a registered letter
with a written apology," he added.

Kotlarova filed her appeal with the help of the Prague-based Counselling
Centre for Citizenship, Civic and Human Rights.

The organisation sent one of its members to the Rossmann shop concerned,
where she had a regular job interview with the manager, offering the
same qualification as Kotlarova, and recorded the proceedings with a
cassette recorder.

Kotlarova said in the court that she had had problems finding a new job
for a long time as she was rejected everywhere, evidently for ethnic

Last June she answered an ad placed in the Rossmann shopwindow in Cheb.

The deputy manager of the shop told her after a few minutes of the
interview however that the position had already been occupied.

Kotlarova then applied for other jobs with the firm, but she was
rejected as well.

Barbora Bukovska, a member of the counselling centre of the same age as
Kotlarova, later asked for the same job and although she told the
personnel that she is not trained in this profession, has no experience
and besides has two children, she was indicated that she might be

The Prague High Court will solve a similar case in appeals proceedings
on Tuesday.

Another Romany woman, Viera Dunkova, sought a job with Scorpio Club in
Prague 1, but was rejected. The shop manager told her the position had
been occupied, though it was not true.

Dunkova then turned to the Prague City Court which ruled last June that
the Scorpio Club operator must apologise to her and to pay her a
compensation of 25,000 crowns.

($1=22.400 crowns) 


Company must apologise to rejected Romany woman, pay compensation

PRAGUE- The Prague High Court today upheld a complaint by Romany woman
Viera Dunkova-Benova, who was refused a job of a shop assistant by the
Scorpio Club store in Prague's Vodickova street for racial reasons. In
the appeals proceedings, the court recognised racial discrimination
against the woman and ruled that the director of the store must send a
letter with an apology to her and pay 50,000 crowns in compensation.

The verdict is valid and cannot be appealed.

In March 1993, the woman noticed an ad in the shop window offering a job
of a shop assistant. She was told, however, that the job was no longer
vacant. When an employee from the Office for Civic and Human Rights
entered the store immediately after the Romany woman and applied for the
same job, she was not rejected and an interview was carried out with

The Romany woman, 36, addressed the Prague City Court, which recognised
her complaint last June and decided that she deserved an apology and
25,000 crowns in compensation.

However, the company appealed the verdict and its representative did not
attend today's hearing at all.

A similar case of racial discrimination filed by an unsuccessful job
applicant has ended in her victory recently. The international Rossmann
drug store chain has recently withdrawn its appeal and apologised to
Romany woman Renata Kotlarova. In addition, it paid her 50,000 crowns in

Kotlarova applied for a job in a Rossmann store in Cheb, west Bohemia,
but was rejected outright.

($1=22.845 crowns)