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How the Defender of rights survey

The methods of the institution headed by Jacques Toubon to guarantee the rights of workers, the unemployed or retirees. "My boss told me that I had not the ri

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How the Defender of rights survey

The methods of the institution headed by Jacques Toubon to guarantee the rights of workers, the unemployed or retirees.

"My boss told me that I had not the right profile, that a client did not want to be served by a Black. Then I grabbed the human rights Defender. He has investigated and has accompanied me to the trial." In this radio spot, the French were reminded recently that there is an institution of the Republic, destined to uphold them. The Defender may "investigate," he says. Like the police or a magistrate ? Not exactly, but, appointed for six years by the president of the Republic (Jacques Toubon was by François Hollande in 2014, after the death of Dominique Baudis), it has a certain power of statement.

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Nearly 90,000 claims every year

It is the seat of the institution, in the Seventh arrondissement of paris, that working its 250 staff, mainly lawyers. They deal with the most complex files that they transmit their 500 volunteers working in the reception points are everywhere in France, as well as the requests that reach them directly. And they have bread on the board. The referrals will increase in effect from year to year. Between 2015 and 2017, they have surged 26%. In 2017, approximately 90,000 claims were addressed to the Defender. Nothing on areas of employment, unemployment, and retirement (see our sidebar for the other grounds of referral), and there are a lot of situations where the law is not respected.

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examples? Contrary to the commonly held belief, it is not necessarily to the job center to compensate the unemployed individuals. Some small public employers such as municipalities discover, on the occasion of a dismissal, that this support is their responsibility, as the employee of which they separate, which has alternated employment in the public and private sector, has spent more time in the final. in "About 2000 people would have no resource for this reason," said Bernard Dreyfus, managing director at mediation with the public services.

In terms of retirement, "many of the claims relate to delays in the liquidation of pensions, described Vanessa Leconte, head of centre of social protection and solidarity. The funds do not, with their means, to cope with peaks in demand."

with Regard to discrimination at work, they give rise to almost two thousand complaints each year. "In the public sector, for example, a frequent occurrence is the non-renewal of contract due to pregnancy or illness," explains Charlotte April, head of pole Service to the Public.

Trade... and a little bit of pressure

All the claims coming to the Defender does not give rise to an investigation. The service admissibility creams 20% of the cases. "The discrimination, for example, is a term so overused that people take advantage a bit too quickly, incorrectly," explains Slimane Laoufi, which oversees the service, Employment, goods and private services. However, it is defined legally as a difference in treatment in connection with one of 25 existing criteria : the origin, age, gender, disability, etc"

Past the first step-selective, the troops of the Defender is put in motion. A simple phone call, mail or exchange e-mails, stamped with the institution, is often enough to solve the problem. in "to Be accused of discrimination by an employee is scary, note Christine Jouhannaud, director of the pole Protection of the rights of public affairs. Employers respond quickly to our requests for explanation, they value their image."

Sometimes, a mediation, a little more push is necessary. As recently, this american singer, first "cast" by Disneyland Paris to take the role of Snow White in a movie, and then put on the key to cause of zozotement. The Defender has finished by reaching an agreement with the diversity manager of the company. The young woman was "recasée" on a parade where his "handicap" discomfort less.

"Hello, this is the "Defender"

plunging into a folder, it happens that the Defender is in need of some parts to form its opinion. Pay slips, employment contract, records of disciplinary proceedings, an exchange of emails with the occupational medicine staff register... The employer is requested to provide him with all the items it calls for. It can also be understood formally, with the minutes to the key. The objective of these hearings : to listen to all parties and to respect the adversarial principle. When the case involves sexual harassment, these interviews are formal are also systematic.

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To verify the statements of the victim and the context of events, the teams, the Defender can also move in the company. The employer is most often accused. But sometimes, an unannounced visit is necessary, with the agreement of the judge of freedoms and detention (JLD). "We teach currently a matter that requires such an operation surprise because there is a risk of destruction of evidence, tells Slimane Laoufi. It is an investment company that would undertake a codification of the CV." A process prohibited, for which L'oréal and Adecco had already been rapped on the knuckles, at the time of the Halde (recast since in the Defender of rights). For the account of the giant of cosmetics, the temporary employment agency selected the nominations of persons of the european type, according to the code "BBR" (for "bleu blanc rouge").

The "testings" be back soon ?

What about the major campaigns of testings, by which the Halde, precisely, was illustrated ? It is almost finished, this process, designed to trap employers discriminating in hiring. Too heavy, too complicated to implement. As a "mini-testing", you might say, it is sometimes alerted by a private individual or an association of fight against racism, the Defender calls to the employer in question, pretending to be a candidate, and records the conversation. "For this post, I don't want a woman", "you are too old"... This is the way it is sometimes surprising to recruiters in flagrante delicto.

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A single exception has been made in recent years, on the order of the cabinet of the former minister of Labour Myriam El Khomri: a big operation which has helped to denounce the practices of Courtepaille and AccordHotels.

The deal may change, however : in his speech on the suburbs, on may 22, Emmanuel Macron has announced its intention to submit the 120 largest French companies to test anti-discrimination, in the next three years. The Defender will be there to contribute? in It would not be illogical, in any case.

would then arise the question once again of the ways of the Defender. As much as it was given recently a new mission: the guidance and protection of whistleblowers. "For almost four years, we are doing more with less, recalls Jacques Toubon. In 2018, we will still hold, but not in 2019, if we are not given extra staff."

The human rights Defender by the numbers

• 88 464 cases treated in 2017.

• the Classification of referrals : 50 560 on relations with the public service, 2959 the rights of the child, 5405 the fight against discrimination, 1228 the ethics and security, 35 545 access to the law.

• 77% of the cases handled by the delegates of proximity, 23% at headquarters.

Read our complete file

The Council of State gives reason to the doctor sacked for wearing a beard in 25% of LGBT people say they are a victim of discrimination at work Discrimination in hiring : what is the line of defence of the undertakings pinned?

• 78% of settlements, treaties without opens a more extensive investigation.

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