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Switzerland: Equal opportunities

Updating author: Marco Toni, Loyens & Loeff

Consultant editor: Thomas Kälin, Meyerlustenberger Lachenal Ltd (MLL)


  • Specific legislation prohibits discrimination in employment on the grounds of sex, marital status (including civil partnership status), family situation or pregnancy. (See General)
  • The only exemption to the general prohibition of sex discrimination in employment is that sex can be a relevant criterion for working in certain precisely defined employments. (See Exemptions)
  • Sexual harassment constitutes discrimination and is prohibited. (See Sexual harassment)
  • If an employee is dismissed without "just cause" after making a complaint of discrimination to a superior or initiating conciliation or court proceedings, the employee can challenge the dismissal in court. (See Victimisation)
  • Appropriate positive action measures aimed at achieving true equality in practice between women and men are not regarded as discriminatory. (See Positive action)
  • Different remedies apply depending on the ground on which an employee believes he or she has been discriminated against by the employer. (See Remedies and penalties)