Party chairman was not able to prove that the termination of his employment was due to his political views

Pursuant to the Danish Anti-Discrimination Act, an employer may not discriminate based on political convictions. If an employee feels discriminated against due to his political conviction, it is for the employee to establish factual circumstances to prove that discrimination occurred. In a decision of 28 March 2017, the Danish Board of Equal Treatment was to consider whether such factual circumstances were established.

The case involved an employee who, besides his job, was chairman of a political party. The employee was dismissed from his job after only 11 days of employment, immediately following some controversial media coverage where he appeared with his picture.

At the termination meeting, the employer stated that he foresaw conflicts between the terminated employee and the other employees, and that the terminated employee did not fit in with the culture of the company. However, the employer did not want to elaborate further on the ground for the dismissal at the meeting.

The employee argued that he had been discriminated against due to his political conviction, referring, inter alia, to the facts that he was dismissed only a few days after the media coverage, and that the employer, at the termination meeting, had stated that the employee did not fit in with the culture of the company.

The employer, on the other hand, argued that the dismissal was based on the foreseen problems of cooperation with the other employees due to the employee's "unreasonably persistent opinions".

The Board of Equal Treatment did not find that sufficient factual circumstances were established to prove that the dismissal was due to the employee's political views. The temporal coincidence with the media coverage could not lead to any other result. Against this background, the employee was not successful in his claim of discrimination.

The decision shows - in line with previous case law - that an employee must be able to establish factual circumstances, and that the temporal correlation between a dismissal and public controversial political opinions is not sufficient in itself to establish such circumstances.

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