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There are several ways you can defend yourself if you have been discriminated against

Discrimination is prohibited by law but unfortunately many persons are still discriminated in various forms.

If you are a victim of discrimination, you should know that the law (mainly O.G. 137/2000) gives you several possibilities to ask for the sanctioning of the perpetrator, the restoration of the previous situation and you can even get compensation.

It is important to know that in some cases discrimination and even incitement to discrimination can be crimes, such as abuse of office, incitement to hatred or discrimination.

  • You can file a petition at the National Council for Combating Discrimination

  • You can contact the labour inspection for some cases of discrimiation

  • You can directly address the court of law by making a summons application

What can you do?

You can file a petition at the National Council for Combating Discrimination within one year from the date of the discriminatory act or from the date on which you became aware of it. It is important that you submit your petition as soon as possible after the act has been committed or you become aware of the act, because evidence and testimony is lost with the passage of time.

You or the person discriminated against can only ask the court to remove the consequences of the discriminatory act and to restore the situation before the discriminatory act. The time limit for processing the petition is 90 days. Please note that this time limit is a recommendation and may be exceeded.

In each county, and in the Bucharest municipality, there is a Territorial Labour Inspectorate which controls the application/implementation of statutory reglementations and can sanction employers that do not respect legal provisions.

If employers do not fulfill their obligations to prevent and combat workplace harassment, they can be fined. It is recommended that the petition is sent in writing through the Labour Inspection platform or sent by email (see a complaint model here) so that it can be officially recorded (save the registration number).

If you wish to personally make the complaint at the TLI office, prepare a written history of the acts of harassment and, eventually, of the steps you've taken to challenge the acts of workplace harassment. Make sure that you receive a registration order for your petition. The petition cannot be anonymous, but you can ask the TLI inspectors to maintain your anonimity when addressing the employer complained against.

Some forms of harassment are forbidden by the Criminal Court, as crimes. In these cases, you can make a complaint to the police or the Prosecutor's office through which you state your will for the guilty person to be held accountable (through a fine, prison sentence or restraining order). The preliminary complaint must be in written form, a maximum of 3 months after the date of the crime. People who do not understand Romanian have the right to a free interpreter.

Este important de știut că în unele cazuri discriminarea și chiar instigarea la discriminare pot fi infracțiuni:

Articolul 297 Cod penal Abuzul în serviciu

(2) Cu aceeași pedeapsă se sancționează și fapta funcționarului public care, în exercitarea atribuțiilor de serviciu, îngrădește exercitarea unui drept al unei persoane ori creează pentru aceasta o situație de inferioritate pe temei de rasă, naționalitate, origine etnică, limbă, religie, sex, orientare sexuală, apartenență politică, avere, vârstă, dizabilitate, boală cronică necontagioasă sau infecție HIV/SIDA.

Article 369, Criminal Code

Incitement to hate or discrimination Incitement of the public, through any means, to hate or discrimination against a category of people is punishable with a prison sentence from 6 months to 3 years or with fine.

What should a petition to the National Council for Combating Discrimination consist of?

The petition should consist of the following elements:

  • your name and surname or those of the person who notices the supposed act of discrimination; the mailing address - that by which you will receive our answer, the claims received from the plaintiff which we will forward for you to take note of, on the basis of which you will have the possibility of illustrating your point. Specify a postal address as well as an email address and a telephone number to enable correspondence.

  • the content of the complaint - the acts that you consider discriminatory must be presented in as much detail as possible. If you can, pinpoint the date on which the act(s) that you are noticing happened, how it/they happened, where, and if there were any witnesses, as well as any evidence you have.

  • the identifying data of the person you are accusing of discrimination (name and surname, mailing address or, by case, the name of the legal person, the office address, etc). The data is necessary in order to contact the defendant, with the purpose of hering them by the Steering Committee or requesting their point of view regarding your accusation and, eventually, for additional investigations.

  • your signature - this proves that you're owning up to the petition, that is is not submitted by someone else in your name and that your email address (if the petition was submitted by email) was not used by someone else.

  • evidence - point out and submit the evidence that you consider relevant for supporting your notice of a discriminary act. This way, you can submit any writing/documents that you attach a copy of, written or audio/video witness statements, relevant video/audio recordings (for example, a recording of a TV programme) along with a transcript of them, press/mass-media articles, screenshots for internet content or any other proof you consider relevant.

What happens after submitting a petition to the National Council for Combating Discrimination?

After submitting the petition, it recieves a registration number and it is sent for settlement to the Steering Committee. The Streering Committee will investigate the existence of an act of discrimination, will summon the involved parties (you and the person you're accusing of discrimination). Failure to present of the parties does not hinder the settlement of the petition. For a correct decision to be taken, additional investigations can be made, the parties (you and the person you're accusing of discrimination) can be summoned to the headquarters of the institution, for hearings.

The solution (the Decision of the Steering Committee) is communicated to you in writing, to the mailing address you provided. The solution will be communicated to you, as well as to the defendant(s), within 30 days from the day the decision was taken in the steering Committee meeting. From the date of recieving the Decision of the Steering Committee, you have 15 days to contest it in the court of administrative disputes if you are not satisfied by the solution. The legal stamp duty is free.

Discriminatory acts are contraventionally sanctioned:

  • with a warning

  • with a fine between 1.000 and 30.000 RON if the discrimination is against a natural person

  • with a fine between 20.000 and 100.000 RON if the discrimination is against a group of people or a community

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