Age Discrimination

Created by the Law dated December 30, 2004, the HALDE (High

Authority for the Fight against Discrimination and for

Equality) is an independent statutory authority vested with

broad powers in order to deal with all forms of


The HALDE also strives to promote equal opportunities,

especially regarding senior workers, which might lead to a

change in French legislation.

Powers of the HALDE

The HALDE is competent to deal with all forms of

discrimination, whether direct or indirect1,

prohibited by law or by an international commitment ratified by

France. It was created following Directive 2000-78 dated

November 27, 2000, which establishes a general framework to

ensure equal treatment of individuals in the European Union

regardless notably of their age with respect to access to

employment or occupation. French law also prohibits

discrimination on the grounds of age (Article L.122-45 of the

French Labor Code and Articles 225-1 and 225-2 of the

French Penal Code).

Employees can submit their cases directly to the HALDE,

which can moreover automatically submit cases to itself, when

it considers these to be relevant. The HALDE will investigate

the claims it receives by asking any person, company or public

body for explanations, information or documents. It may also

conduct onsite inspections and obtain evidence from any person

whose testimony it deems necessary or helpful. If the HALDE

concludes that a case of discrimination exists, this helps the

victims to compile their case files and informs them of the

appropriate procedure for said cases. The HALDE informs the

State Prosecutor ("Procureur de la

République") of any event brought to its

knowledge and which appears to constitute an offence.

At the request of the parties, or at their own initiative,

civil, criminal and administrative courts may request that the

HALDE present observations regarding the instances of

discrimination submitted to them. The HALDE itself may request

to appear before these courts.

Where facts suggest discrimination committed by the

employer, the HALDE can offer a criminal settlement agreement

("transaction pénale") to the

employer in the form of a settlement fine of €3,000 for an

individual and €15,000 for a company.

The HALDE's main decisions concerning age


Concerning recruitment in the private sector:

The HALDE considered that more than 40 job advertisements

posted on the Internet mentioned an age limit (Decision

n°2005-14 dated June 20, 2005)...

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