Remedies and enforcement

AuthorSabatauskait?, Birut?
6.1 Judicial and/or administrative procedures (Article 7 Directive 2000/43,
Article 9 Directive 2000/78)
a) Available procedures for enforcing the principle of equal treatment
In Lithuania, the following procedure s exist for enforcing the principle of equal treatment
before the civil and administrative c ourts. Criminal pro cedure is also possible in cases of
discrimination, but this is rarely or never applied. There is also the quasi-judicial
procedure of filing a complaint with the Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson, which is
considered to be an administrative p rocedure.247
The Constitution guarantees the right of every person to appeal to a court for the
protection of the constitutional rights that have been violated. The g eneral principle of
equality of persons is embodied in a number of laws, including the Civil Code and the
Labour Code. Accordin g to Article 12(1) of the Law on Equal Treatment, each person
whose equal opportunities have been violated has a right to file a comp laint to the
Ombudsperson. This does not preclude the person from having the right to defend his or
her rights in court. There fore, in cases of viol ation of the principle of equal treatment,
any person can address the court ( under administrative or civil jurisdiction, depending on
the matter at hand). The court offers the only option for a person to receive some sort of
compensation for discriminatory actions and suffered harm, because none of the other
available procedures provides compensation to the victims.
In the case of a labou r dispute, a person may take advant age of certain pre-trial
procedures established by the Labour Code. The Labour Cod e, adopted in 2017,
significantly changed th e previous labour dispute investigation procedu re. According to
the Labour Code, a person may apply to the em ployment disputes commissions or courts
directly. Employment disputes commissions are permanent bodies, working under t he
State Labour Inspectorate. They consist of three members: the chairman (a state official,
appointed by the State Labour Inspectorate), a represen tative of an employer
organisation, and a re presentative of a trade union. In cases of unfair dismissal, the
commission can award the paym ent of salary for the duration of forced absenteeism (but
for no more than one year) and pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages, as well as
compensation worth a maximum of six time s the average sala ry (Article 218). Labour
dispute commissions can also function as a mediator.
According to the information provided by the State Labour Inspectorate on its website,
the labour dispute commissions received 7 579 requests in 2019 (compa red to 6 712 in
2018). Out of the 7 398 requests that ha ve been analysed, 10 concerned or partially
concerned discrimination in employment (comp ared with 13 in 2018).248
People who believe th at their rights have been infringed by individual administrative
actions or by the actions (or omissions) of civil servants or municipal employees in the
sphere of public administra tion – including in relation to social protection, socia l
advantages, education and access to and the supply of goods and services available to
the public have th e righ t to file a complaint with the Administrative Disputes
Commission under the Law on Administrative Disputes Commissions, or with the
administrative courts under the Law on Administrative Procedure. Action s (or omissions)
by civil servants or municipal employees in the sphere of public administration can also
247 There are further theoretical options that are not used in practice, such as filing a complaint to the
Parliamentary Ombudsman when human rights violations have been committed by state officials or
institutions, or to the State Labour Inspectorate in cases of labour law violations. However, the
Parliamentary Ombudsman would not duplicate the function of the Equal Op portunities Ombudsperson.
248 Lithuanian State Labour Inspectorate, An Overview of Activity of Labour D ispute Commissions in 2018,
available in Lithuanian at: .aspx?Tema_ID=63.

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