Case Number: P – 20113/11
Court: The First Basic (Municipal) Court in Belgrade
Judge: Senka Radević Sarić
Claimant: B.P.J. from Belgrade
Defendant: Volksbank a.d. Serbia, Belgrade

On September 20th 2011, the First Basic (Municipal) Court in Belgrade accepted the claim of B.P.J, by which she sues the Volksbank a.d. Serbia in Belgrade for discrimination in the workplace.

B.P.J. was employed at the accused from December 1 2009. The claimant is a person with disability, she is deaf. On December 28th 2010, her work contract was cancelled due to alleged lack of skills and knowledge, and failure to produce results.

The claimant, during the first few months of her contract, adequately completed the jobs which she was assigned. However, the accused was responsible for ensuring she had adequate training, given that she was a person with a disability, or to assign her a mentor because she was newly hired, which is a basic responsibility of the employer, which was not done. The claimant did not have a mentor, and that role was taken by another employee who had some free time. Over time, the other employees had increasingly less patience to explain to the claimant what they wanted her to do via writing, so they began to speak to her verbally (the claimant is proficient in lip reading). This often led to confusion, and the claimant was accused to not doing the job adequately, since she had increasingly more mistakes in her work.

Besides the above, the claimant was increasingly often left out of group agreements and discussions. In this way she was not treated as an equal member of the team. Having realized that the problems were mounting, the claimant sought an assessment of her work capabilities from the National Employment Service, which confirmed that she is “not capable of work which requires verbal communication, use of the telephone, and jobs whose success might be compromised by working in noisy conditions.”

Despite all her attempts of fit in and adequately do her part of the job, the claimant received the termination of her work contract with the explanation of A.E,employed by the accused as director of planning, analysis, and financial reporting in the Financial Sector, that the bank currently did not have the means to extend the contract, but that she was content with the way that the claimant completed her tasks. Aleksandra Erceg suggested to the claimant that she sign the agreement to end her contract, which she denied. Then she contacted the Committee for confirming skills and knowledge and work results, which confirmed that the claimant “does not possess the skills and knowledge to do the work required.” The claimant quickly learned that she likely was fired because the godmother of the director was returning from maternity leave, and that there were no other vacant positions upon her return, though the work of her colleagues had not been assessed.

During the time of her employment, the claimant experienced direct discrimination from A.E, her supervisor. She was also discriminated against by her fellow employees. The discrimination against the claimant had increased and finally culminated with the assessment of her work capacities and the cancellation of her work contract.

It is requested that discrimination by the accused against the claimant be confirmed, that compensation is issued for nonmaterial harm, and that the results of the case be issued in a widely circulated newspaper.



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