Leroy Merlin accused by the Defender of Rights of having discriminated against a couple of men

A final appeal after almost two years of proceedings. The Defender of Rights published Tuesday in Official newspaper a report concerning a case of discrimination within a Leroy Merlin store, a last resort which comes at the end of a procedure started in January 2022.

The institution uses its “ultimate 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 regarding the family situation of a homosexual 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 so “that they never had a day of rest in common”, according to the report published in the JO.

“Employees have no obligation to specify the content of their relationship”

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 X and Y, explaining that it was based on internal practice: not having employees with a family relationship or as a couple, on the grounds that this can “result in a lack of counter-power”. The employer also criticizes X for not having clarified his link with Y when he “co-opted” the latter.

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 him.” In November 2022, the Defender of Rights sent recommendations to the company: “fair compensation” for the applicants’ harm and a modification of its working hours practices to respect the principle of “non-discrimination”.

source site