Amicus Curiae Brief relating to Age and Health-Based Discrimination in Employment Relations
On April 6, 2023, the Public Defender of Georgia filed an amicus curiae brief (opinion of the friend of the court) with Tbilisi City Court’s Administrative Cases Panel relating to a lawsuit pertaining to alleged discrimination based on age and health status in employment relations.
The plaintiff was employed as an operator of the 1st fire-rescue department of the Fire-Rescue Management Service, a state sub-agency of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff performed his official duties diligently and conscientiously. However, he was dismissed due to reaching the age limit.
In the amicus curiae brief, based on international and national standards and best practices, the Public Defender presented a test/standards for detecting alleged discrimination in labour relations and the rule of distribution of the burden of proof in cases related to discrimination; He also reflected the practice of international institutions relating different treatment based on age (combined with health status) and the difference between cases when such treatment is justified on the one hand and constitutes discrimination on the other hand. The Public Defender also provided standards for the use of special and temporary measures.
The amicus curiae brief emphasizes that it is important for the court to assess whether, based on objective justifying grounds, the least intensive means of interference was used to achieve the legitimate goal, in compliance with the principle of proportionality; whether establishing such an age limit ensures professional integration of older workers in the workplace or endangers their stable employment, which is also an important element for the protection of employees.
The amicus curiae brief does not intend to support either party's position and only focuses on human rights law standards.