Was everyone chasing the same job as you? And if you didn't get it, why did someone else?
A recent case in the European Court of Justice (ECJ) shows what you have to look out for if you're applying for a job that other people might also be interested in.
Ms Meister applied twice for a job with the German firm Speech Design Carrier Systems GmbH. Although she had the right experience for the role according to the adverts she saw, her applications were rejected without interview on both occasions.
So Ms Meister brought a claim for sex, age and race discrimination in the German labour court. On asking to see the successful candidate's file, she was shocked when Speech Design refused. The company said her claim should be dismissed since she had no evidence to support it.
The German labour court turned to the ECJ for guidance. The court asked whether a candidate who, despite meeting all the criteria, is rejected, is entitled to know whether someone else has been hired and, if so, what requirements the successful candidate met
The court also asked whether an employer who refuses to disclose this information would be unlawfully discriminating against an unsuccessful job applicant.
What the ECJ said
The ECJ decided that EU Directives on discrimination do not give unsuccessful candidates the right to information on whether another candidate was hired, even if they themselves fully met the criteria advertised.
But the ECJ also confirmed that where an employer refuses to supply such information, this can be taken into consideration by an employment tribunal when coming to its decision on a discrimination claim.
In the case of Ms Meister, the ECJ said the German labour court should take on board the following:
- That Ms Meister had all of the relevant qualifications required for the advertised job
- That despite 2 applications for the job, Ms Meister was not granted an interview
- That Speech Design refused to produce the file for the successful candidate
What could this mean for you?
Even though there’s no legal right to be informed of the reasons why you weren't hired and someone else was, employers know that to withhold such information could go against them if you make a claim for discrimination.
For this reason, it can do you no harm to ask. If your employer thinks that withholding the information might compromise its chances of defending a claim, you might just get the information you've requested.
Even if they refuse to tell you why you didn't get the job – and remember, disclosure isn't obligatory – you can ask them why they're withholding this information. Employers know that if you pursue a claim for discrimination, an employment tribunal has the power to order them to give you the information you requested anyway.
Get the news direct to your Email Inbox
If you liked this article you can sign up to receive our news articles via email
Subscribe to our Daily News updates
For any PR enquiries please contact:
Christina Savage at RTS Media
on tel: 01942 396701, mobile: 07932 944 008 or send an email.
Disclaimer: No information on this website shall be construed as
legal advice and information is offered for general information purposes only based
on the current law when the information was first displayed on this website. You
should always seek advice from an appropriately qualified solicitor on any specific
legal enquiry. Calls to or from our legal helpline may be recorded for training
and monitoring purposes.
External links are provided for your convenience, but they are beyond the control
of Simpson Millar LLP and no representation is made as to their content. Use or
reliance on any external links and the content thereon provided is at your own risk.