• According to the latest Defender of Rights barometer, more than one out of three young people aged 18 to 34 explains that they have experienced discrimination or discriminatory harassment when looking for a job or when working.

  • Existing situations, but little disclosed, for which there is almost no recourse, indicates Claire Hédon, the Defender of Rights.

  • Whether because of their disability, their origin or their age, young people bear witness to the consequences of this discrimination.

“I was fired because I was too slow, not productive enough and cost more than I brought in.

After three weeks in a company, Simon was fired by his boss when he had been hired for a 9-month CDD.

A blow for this 25-year-old Toulousain, who suffers from a genetic muscular disease, which prevents him from going quickly on certain tasks.

A handicap that he did not hide when he was hired, “it was even the first thing I said”.

Simon's case is far from isolated.

According to the latest Defender of Rights barometer, more than one out of three young people aged 18 to 34 explain having experienced discrimination or discriminatory harassment when looking for a job or when working.

The Toulousain, he was not even aware that his dismissal was illegal.

“It was when I went to the local mission that I realized that it was discrimination, that a disabled employee could not be dismissed for medical reasons.

I would have liked to be informed before, ”testified the young man this Wednesday, during a round table organized in the Pink City on the subject.

More than one in three young people victim of discrimination in employment: the Defender of Rights denounces the extent of discrimination and its deleterious consequences https://t.co/JH4Mte1asr pic.twitter.com/UiAoLmzqyf

– Defender of rights (@Defenseurdroits) December 7, 2021

This lack of information, Claire Hédon is aware of it.

The Defender of Rights knows that there is still a lot of work to do for these young people to talk about what they have experienced.

“Four out of ten young people who have experienced discrimination say they have done nothing, if you count women it is five out of ten.

And when they've done something, it's not going to court, it's just telling someone about it.

This is one of the big problems of discrimination, we have a lot of trouble evaluating it because we are in the absence of recourse, because people are afraid of reprisals when they are in employment and they say to themselves "It's useless", explains the head of the independent administrative authority.

“Long-term deleterious effects” according to Claire Hédon

However, when questioned, many are those who can testify to a difficulty in passing the course of the interview because of an address, an origin, their sex or their appearance. And it can start very early. Roby thus explained how throughout his schooling in college, he was told that he could not integrate a general stream for the baccalaureate, despite his good results. “Because you are black, Arab, you come from a city, you are sent to a sector called trash, it hurts”, testifies the young man, followed by the local mission of Toulouse.

Discrimination in the orientation which often has a lasting impact, at the psychological level, but also on their professional future.

The study thus shows that 55% of young people, discriminated against or not, censored themselves when looking for a job, in particular by not responding to offers when they had the required skills.

“Impact on their professional life”

And when they respond to it, it can bring them back to the same discriminations.

This is what Maëlie witnessed, in civic service in a local Toulouse mission.

During a job-dating organized between young school dropouts and companies, a company asked candidates to complete an online questionnaire.

“We asked them their ethnic origin, their religion, their sexual orientation.

I thought it was a mistake it was so big.

When we interviewed this multinational, she told us that it was to make positive discrimination, to provide for greater diversity in their team, ”says the one who is destined to be an integration advisor.

For her, one of the forms of discrimination against young people is also their age. “For diversity in a team, this can be beneficial. Do I have to wait on my sofa until I am the ideal age to apply? “Asks Maëlie. This is also one of the criteria of discrimination that comes up most often among the young people questioned in the study carried out by the institution of Claire Hédon, which launched an anti-discrimination platform a year ago.

Since then, she has received nearly 11,000 calls, more than half of which concerned employment.

“For young people, we know that this has an impact on their professional life.

What we know less is that it also has an impact on family life, their state of physical and mental health.

These are long-term deleterious effects.

And this accumulates with other discrimination or borderline remarks that they receive in everyday life, ”continues the Defender of Rights.

She pleads for the creation of a discrimination observatory or work on penalties for employers "to whom it does not cost very much to discriminate".


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  • Toulouse

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