Public Defender's Amicus Curiae Brief relating to Discrimination on the Ground of Dissent in Labour Relations
On August 4, 2023, the Public Defender of Georgia filed an amicus curiae brief with Tbilisi City Court regarding the case of G.J., whose interests are being protected in the court by the Social Justice Center.
According to the factual circumstances, the plaintiff had been employed as a cameraman at Formula LLC from November 1, 2019 to February 4, 2023. The employment contract with G.J., as well as with 23 other cameramen of the information service of the news department, was terminated on February 3, 2023, due to gross violation of the duties imposed by the employment contract. This was preceded by the protest started by the cameramen, demanding wage increase, from February 1, 2023, due to which disciplinary measures were taken against them.
In the plaintiff's opinion, he was subjected to discriminatory treatment on the ground of dissent, since the prerequisites for applying disciplinary penalties to the employees and their dismissal were the opinion about the wages and the decision to strike.
As the Public Defender’s practice shows, unfortunately, expressing work-related criticism by employees is considered unacceptable and, often, serves as the basis for harassment, dismissal or other violations of labour rights. The Public Defender believes that the case under consideration may be of particular importance in the field of human rights protection, since the negative attitudes of employers towards the opinions expressed by employees regarding work conditions or the collective activities of the employees aimed at improving work conditions may be associated with significant threats in the process of protecting socio-economic rights.
In the amicus curiae brief, the Public Defender provides information to the court about the national and international human rights standards relevant to the case, the identification of which is of utmost importance in the context of the elimination of discriminatory practices and realization of collective labour rights.