Compliance and enforcement aspects (horizontal provisions of all directives)

AuthorDavulis, Tomas
11 Compliance and enforcement aspects (horizontal provisions of all
11.1 General (legal) context
11.1.1 Surveys and reports about the particular difficulties related to obtaining legal
No specific surveys and research have been cond ucted, despite the practical
implementation of the principle of equal treatment causing major obstacles in fulfilling the
obligations of the Directives.
11.1.2 Other issues related to the pursuit of a discrimination claim
No other issues can currently be identified. In general, th e media and public opinion are
favourably disposed to the victims; however, victims suffer from the lack of efficient legal
assistance to bring their claims befo re the courts or the Labour Dispute Commission. The
support of NGOs or trade unions is lacking, as are examples of good practice that could
be brought to public attention and initiate new claims. As a result, victims are afraid to
pursue their claims publicly or simply do not foresee personal success. Incentives to act
individually for the greater common good or to support other victims are not widespread
in post-soviet society in Lithuania.
11.1.3 Political and societal debate and pending legislative proposals
There is no debate on the issue.
11.2 Victimisation
Article 11 No. 4 of the EOAWM prohibits an employer from persecuting an employee, a
representative of an employee or an employee who is testifying or providing explanations
about a complaint or another legal procedure concerning discrimination on grounds of sex.
Such actions by an employer shall be considered as a violation of equal rights and may be
sanctioned with an administrative fine.
Administrative fines, ranging from EUR 28 to EUR 1 158, for a breach of the EOAWM (i.e.
also in cases of a breach of the principle of eq ual pay) may be imposed by the Equal
Opportunities Ombudsperson. These administrative fines do not seem to be deterrent, but
even in cases of established violations of equality legislation the Ombudsperson restricts
himself/herself to issuing a simple warning.64 Theoretically, criminal sanctions may b e
imposed following a criminal offence. Discrimination on the grounds of (inter alia) sex with
a serious outcome shall be punishable by a community service order, arrest or
imprisonment for up to three years (Article 169 of the Criminal Code),65 but there have
been no cases so far.
11.3 Access to courts
11.3.1 Difficulties and barriers related to access to courts
Access to the courts for alleged victims of discrimination is generally safeguarded b ut is
no longer directly laid down in the EOAWM (former Article 12 of the EOA). Cases on
discrimination are still very rare. A person who has suffered discrimination on grounds of
sex, sexual harassment or harassment shall h ave th e right to demand that the guilty
64 See the data on the outcomes of investigations, provided by the Office of Equal Opportunities
Ombudsperson, available at:
65 Valstybs žinios 2000, No. 89-2741.

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