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Austria: Equal opportunities

Original and updating author: Silva Palzer, Eversheds Austria
Updating authors: Klaus Cavar and Lena-Sophie Kaltenegger, Eversheds Austria


  • Both direct and indirect discrimination are prohibited in all aspects of employment relationships on grounds including sex, ethnic affiliation, religion or belief, age, sexual orientation and disability. (See General)
  • Unequal treatment based on a characteristic related to any of the prohibited grounds of discrimination does not constitute unlawful discrimination where such a characteristic constitutes a genuine and determining occupational requirement. (See Exemptions)
  • Harassment, gender-related harassment and sexual harassment constitute unlawful discrimination and are prohibited. (See Harassment and sexual harassment)
  • Employees must not be victimised for making a complaint or initiating proceedings related to equal treatment and non-discrimination. (See Victimisation)
  • Positive measures taken with the aim of promoting equality in employment are not considered to be unlawful discrimination. (See Positive action)
  • An employer must inform and consult the works council set up to represent its employees' interests about measures to promote work-life balance and women's employment, and must discuss proposals and requests made by the works council in this area. (See Active measures)
  • An employee or job applicant who believes that he or she has suffered unlawful discrimination on any of the statutory protected grounds may bring a court case against the employer seeking compensation and, in some cases, other remedies. (See Remedies and penalties)