CJEU Case C-16/19 / Judgment

VL v Szpital Kliniczny im. dra J. Babińskiego Samodzielny Publiczny Zakład Opieki Zdrowotnej w Krakowie
Policy area
Employment and social policy
Deciding body type
Court of Justice of the European Union
Deciding body
Court (Grand Chamber)
Decision date
ECLI (European case law identifier)
  • CJEU Case C-16/19 / Judgment

    Key facts of the case:

    Request for a preliminary ruling from the Sąd Okręgowy w Krakowie.

    Reference for a preliminary ruling – Social policy – Equal treatment in employment and occupation – Directive 2000/78/EC – Article 2(1) and (2)(a) and (b) – ‘Concept of discrimination’ – Direct discrimination – Indirect discrimination – Discrimination on grounds of disability – Difference in treatment within a group of workers with disabilities – Grant of an allowance to workers with disabilities who have submitted disability certificates after a date chosen by the employer – Exclusion of workers with disabilities who have submitted their certificates before that date.


    Outcome of the case:

    On those grounds, the Court (Grand Chamber) hereby rules:  
    Article 2 of Council Directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000 establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation must be interpreted as meaning that:

    • the practice adopted by an employer and consisting in the payment of an allowance to workers with disabilities who have submitted their disability certificates after a date chosen by that employer, and not to workers with disabilities who have submitted those certificates before that date, may constitute direct discrimination if it is established that that practice is based on a criterion that is inextricably linked to disability, inasmuch as it is such as to make it impossible for a clearly identified group of workers, consisting of all the workers with disabilities whose disabled status was necessarily known to the employer when that practice was introduced, to satisfy that temporal condition;
    • that practice, although apparently neutral, may constitute discrimination indirectly based on disability if it is established that, without being objectively justified by a legitimate aim and without the means of achieving that aim being appropriate and necessary, it puts workers with disabilities at a particular disadvantage depending on the nature of their disabilities, including whether they are visible or require reasonable adjustments to be made to working conditions.
  • Paragraphs referring to EU Charter

    33) That directive is thus a specific expression, within the field that it covers, of the general principle of non-discrimination now enshrined in Article 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (see, to that effect, judgment of 23 April 2020, Associazione Avvocatura per i diritti LGBTI, C‑507/18EU:C:2020:289, paragraph 38 and the case-law cited).