Pharmaceutical Firm Ordered to Pay Compensation for Discriminating against Roma in Czech Republic

On March 31, 2004, the City Court of Prague ruled that the pharmaceutical company Rossman, spol. s.r.o. had discriminated against Ms Renata Kotlárová, a Romani woman from Czech Republic, and ordered that the company pay her 50,000 Czech crowns (approxi-mately 1,580 Euro) in non-pecuniary damages and issue a formal apology, according to the Prague-based non-governmental organisation Centre for Citizenship/Civil and Human Rights (Poradna). The Court's decision came after Ms Kotlárová applied for work at a Rossman pharmacy in the western Czech town of Cheb in June 2003, after the position of shopkeeper was advertised. When Ms Kotlárová applied, she was informed that the position had already been filled and was not interviewed. Several minutes after Ms Kotlárová left, a non-Romani employee of Poradna entered the shop, applied for the position, was interviewed and informed about the working conditions and salary. Ms Kotlárová and the representative of Poradna put forth the same qualifications. Ms Kotlárová had demanded 250,000 Czech crowns (approximately 7,880 Euro) and an apology as compensation. Poradna brought the case on behalf of Ms Kotlárová together with attorney David Strupek. As of June 10, 2004, Poradna informed the ERRC that Rossman, spol. s.r.o. appealed the decision. (Poradna)

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