New condemnation of Zara for discriminating against two employees of Almería who had reduced working hours for childcare. The Superior Court of Justice of Andalusia has dismissed the appeal filed by the multinational against a first instance sentence which declared the transfer of a work center that the company imposed on these two employees null, since it considered that the action was discriminatory because of sex and personal circumstances. The court also concluded that Zara violated her right to effective judicial protection by concluding that the change was a reprisal by the company over the workers.
The events date back to October 2018, when Zara decided to close its stores in the ‘Mediterráneo’ shopping center in Almería, where 46 people worked. The multinational relocated employees to a new larger store in another shopping center in the same city, ‘Torrecárdenas’, just opened. To all but 16 employees, all those who had reduced working hours for the care of minor children, as stated in the judgment of instance consulted by eldiario.es.
For these 16 workers, the company offered two options: if they wanted to work in the new shopping center in Almeria they had to give up their workday reductions, to be available on weekends (mainly on Friday afternoons and Saturdays); and, if they kept their schedules as they were, they would be transferred to two other work centers (a shop on Paseo de Almería, threatened by a possible closure, or a shopping center in Roquetas de Mar, 25 kilometers away).
Eight workers accepted Zara’s conditions and were relocated to the new ‘Torrecárdenas’ shopping center, but eight others did not and were sent to the other destinations.
Two of these workers refused to accept the new conditions and denounced before the courts, advised by the CSIF union, because they considered that the company had discriminated against them because of sex, when making the decision solely because they had a reduced working day of their children.
Second judicial victory of the saleswomen
The Social Court number 3 of Almeria proved the reason last year to the two clerks. Judge Juan Carlos Aparicio Tobaruela concluded that Zara’s decision was motivated “only by the fact that the plaintiffs had reduced their working hours for the care of minor children.” The Court condemned the company to relocate those affected, with their same working conditions, in the shopping center ‘Torrecárdenas’ in Almería and to indemnify each of them with 6,250 euros for violating their fundamental rights.
Tobaruela concluded that Zara’s action “has to be considered discriminatory because of sex and personal circumstances”, protected by article 14 of the Constitution, and also dictated that there was also a violation of the right of women workers to effective judicial protection (article 24 of the Constitution) because he interpreted the transfer as a reprisal by the company against the employees for “the legitimate exercise of their rights.”
Zara appealed the conviction and now the Andalusian TSJ has dismissed its appeal and confirmed the instance ruling. eldiario.es has contacted Inditex to see if the judgment is going to be appealed again, which it would have to do before the Supreme Court, but has not obtained an answer for the moment.