Journalist collapses lawsuit for equal pay | Free press

Over the years as the so-called freelancers received a much lower salary than her colleagues. The Constitutional Court dismissed the lawsuit. But the dispute is not yet settled.


A television journalist who has been arguing over her salary for years, as well as her colleagues, was unable to file a constitutional complaint. The Federal Constitutional Court announced on Tuesday in Karlsruhe that the lawsuit was not admitted to a decision due to deficiencies in its content. It is impossible to check whether a woman has actually exhausted all the possibilities in the labor courts. (Az. 1 BvR 75/20)

The longtime ZDF reporter, who is just leaving the station, achieved an important partial success in June 2020. The Federal Labor Court has ruled that, as a so-called permanent freelancer, she also has a right to information under the Wage Transparency Act.

This claim relates to employees in companies with more than 200 employees as of 2018. You may ask how much on average a group of colleagues earns in a comparable position. With her lawsuit, the journalist forced ZDF to inform that her male colleagues actually earned around EUR 800 more per month in 2017. In addition, she was denied allowances.

In the second step, the woman wanted to make sure she was earning more and the difference would be paid later. On this point, the appeal to the Federal Labor Court was not upheld at all. A constitutional complaint was directed against this.

However, the judges from Karlsruhe point out that now it is possible to make a claim for payment with information about the comparative fee. Such an attempt at an employment tribunal is “at least not, of course, hopeless from the outset.” As a rule, a constitutional complaint is admissible only if the legal procedure is exhausted.

The Freedom Rights Society (GFF), which supports the plaintiff, said that such a lawsuit had already been filed on December 1 at the Labor Court in Berlin. The Constitutional Court hinted that it considered this to be promising. “This is a clear nod to the labor courts.” (dpa)

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