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Bulgaria: Equal opportunities

Original and updating authors: Kalina Tchakarova and Youliana Naoumova, DGKV


  • Employers are prohibited from discriminating, directly or indirectly, in relation to employment on various grounds, including sex, race, nationality, ethnicity, genetic factors, religion or faith, beliefs, disability, age, sexual orientation and family status. (See General)
  • Statute provides for a number of exemptions from the general ban on discrimination in relation to employment, including in certain cases where a characteristic related to any of the statutory prohibited grounds of discrimination constitutes an essential and determining occupational requirement. (See Exemptions)
  • Harassment and sexual harassment are deemed to be unlawful discrimination, and employers must investigate complaints of such harassment, stop any harassment found, and impose disciplinary sanctions on employees who commit harassment. (See Harassment and sexual harassment)
  • Employees are protected from victimisation for taking action against discrimination, such as making a complaint, filing a court case or testifying in relevant proceedings. (See Victimisation)
  • Employers are required to take various positive actions in favour of people belonging to a particular sex or ethnic group, if that sex or ethnic group is under-represented among employees. (See Positive action)
  • In cooperation with trade unions, employers must take effective measures to prevent all forms of discrimination at the workplace, including harassment, sexual harassment and victimisation. (See Active measures)
  • An employee or job applicant who believes that he or she has suffered unlawful discrimination may bring proceedings at the Commission for Protection against Discrimination, or bring a court case against the employer. (See Remedies and penalties)