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calendar 8 May 2024
globus Norway

An employee believed she was harassed and discriminated against based on her care duties for her children. The Norwegian Anti-Discrimination Tribunal found the employee had not been discriminated or harassed, as the employee could not document either.

An employee in a catering company believed she had been harassed and discriminated against based on her care duties for her children. The employee was a single mother of two children with disabilities and was absent from work on several occasions in connection with the children's school and health.

The employee believed that she was discriminated against due to a lack of facilitation regarding her care duties. Her shift schedule was announced with only a few days' notice, and her shift did not consider that she was a single mother.

She also believed that she was being harassed. On one occasion, when she mentioned that her son would not eat, the HR manager said, “Then you'll get rid of the problem”. She considered this to be one of many harassing comments from the HR manager and several other colleagues in the company.

Documentation, documentation, documentation

The Norwegian Anti-Discrimination Tribunal concluded that the employee was neither discriminated against nor harassed because there was no documentation for this.

In terms of discrimination, the schedule could not be provided in good time due to the coronavirus measures that were in place at the time. There was no specific evidence to suggest any form of discrimination.

In terms of harassment, the parties disagreed on whether the HR manager’s comment was isolated or repeated. The Tribunal found that no documentation or other information indicated that this had occurred on several occasions. Because the comment was isolated and the HR manager had apologised unreservedly, the Tribunal did not consider the comment to be objectively serious enough to constitute harassment.

IUNO’s opinion

IUNO recommends that companies take allegations of harassment seriously. Companies are obliged to both prevent and try to prevent harassment in the workplace. In the event of allegations of harassment, the company must therefore investigate and propose a solution.

[The Norwegian Anti-Discrimination Tribunal’s decision of 17 April 2024 in case 22/1346]

An employee in a catering company believed she had been harassed and discriminated against based on her care duties for her children. The employee was a single mother of two children with disabilities and was absent from work on several occasions in connection with the children's school and health.

The employee believed that she was discriminated against due to a lack of facilitation regarding her care duties. Her shift schedule was announced with only a few days' notice, and her shift did not consider that she was a single mother.

She also believed that she was being harassed. On one occasion, when she mentioned that her son would not eat, the HR manager said, “Then you'll get rid of the problem”. She considered this to be one of many harassing comments from the HR manager and several other colleagues in the company.

Documentation, documentation, documentation

The Norwegian Anti-Discrimination Tribunal concluded that the employee was neither discriminated against nor harassed because there was no documentation for this.

In terms of discrimination, the schedule could not be provided in good time due to the coronavirus measures that were in place at the time. There was no specific evidence to suggest any form of discrimination.

In terms of harassment, the parties disagreed on whether the HR manager’s comment was isolated or repeated. The Tribunal found that no documentation or other information indicated that this had occurred on several occasions. Because the comment was isolated and the HR manager had apologised unreservedly, the Tribunal did not consider the comment to be objectively serious enough to constitute harassment.

IUNO’s opinion

IUNO recommends that companies take allegations of harassment seriously. Companies are obliged to both prevent and try to prevent harassment in the workplace. In the event of allegations of harassment, the company must therefore investigate and propose a solution.

[The Norwegian Anti-Discrimination Tribunal’s decision of 17 April 2024 in case 22/1346]

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