Legal Foundation of Equal Opportunity Work
The remits and rights of Equal Opportunities Officers and their deputies as well as the Equal Opportunities Commissions and officers in faculties and institutes are regulated by various regional and national legislatures. This includes explanatory regulations set down by ministries as well as self-imposed commitments by the University, such as constitution, guidelines and plans for equal opportunities. The legal system has a hierarchical structure, so that the lower levels do not violate the higher levels, but are allowed to go beyond them.
At national level, article 3, paragraph 2 of Germany's basic framework of law with the addition from 1992 is binding:
"Men and women have equal rights. The state supports the enforcement of equal opportunities for men and women and acts to remove all obstacles accordingly."
Most of the following legal sources both on a national and regional levels are derived from this. They put in concrete terms the remit of the Equal Opportunity Officers. At the same time they make clear that the final responsibility for implementing equal opportunity measures lies with the executive committee, in the case of the University, the Rektorat and deans.
In some cases, EU guidelines are already legally binding or require the German parliament to pass respective federal laws. A prominent example of this is the General Act on Equal Treatment (Allgemeines Gleichbehandungsgesetz (AGG)) from 2006, which implements various EU guidelines. The AGG aims to prevent discrimination, including sexual discrimination, ensuring that discriminated persons can have legal recourse against private individuals and employers in such cases.
The legal system is in constant flux as each new law passed affects the regulations governed by it. The following list is as up to date as possible and is limited to the most important principles of implementing equal opportunities in daily life.
der Universität Bielefeld
Rooms: L3 -- 113/ 117/ 119
Tel: (0521) 106-4202/03
Fax: (0521) 106-89 008
Monday - Thursday
9.00 - 13.00
The Equal Opportunities Office is the first place to go to make appointments and ask questions of any kind.