By Le Figaro with AFP
A report concerning a case of discrimination against an LGBT couple was published in the Official Journal at the request of the Defender of Rights.
There Rights defender published on Tuesday in the Official Journal a report concerning a case of discrimination within a Leroy Merlin store – facts contested by the company – a final appeal which comes at the end of a procedure started in January 2022. The institution makes use of itsultimate power», which authorizes it to make a file public when an organization does not respond to its recommendations. This “name and shame» concerns an alleged case of discrimination on the family situation of a couple, employees of a Leroy Merlin store in Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois (Essonne).
The two employees, X and Y in the report, claim that their management was not aware of their situation when Y was hired in March 2021. After testing positive for Covid-19 in mid-March, list of contact cases which included the name of his companion. According to him, it was then that the attitude of those responsible changed. When they returned to their position, they noticed that their schedules had been modified in a way “so that they never have a day off together», According to the report published in the JO. “A manager told me word for word that she was destroying our schedules since we were together“, Y told AFP.
“A lack of counter-power”
Y’s fixed-term contract was not renewed. X claims that after asking in vain for a change and a contractual rupture, he decided to abandon his post on June 15, 2021, before being dismissed a month later. According to the report, Leroy Merlin did not dispute having taken into account the family situation of as a couple, on the grounds that it can “lead to a lack of counter-power“. The employer also criticizes X for not having clarified his relationship with Y when he “co-opted” this last. According to the institution’s analysis, this use is discriminatory: “employees have no obligation to specify the content of their relationship (…) and the employer cannot take into account the family situation of an employee to make decisions concerning them“.
In November 2022, the Defender of Rights sent recommendations to the company: a “just repair» of the prejudice of the applicants and a modification of its practices on schedules to respect the principle of “no discrimination“. “The situation where organizations do not implement recommendations is rare. Leroy Merlin does not recognize discrimination. The justification for distinction between employees is not sufficient», underlined the Defender of Rights Claire Hédon. “We contest the facts of discrimination (…) The couple has never been an element which motivates the manager to have to organize his schedule», Reacted Tawfik Kilani, director of development and dialogue at Leroy Merlin.