Switzerland

In 2004/2005, the case of the Transport Club of Switzerland (VCS) against a stadium in Zurich, which was combined with a shopping mall, caused public debate about the association’s right of appeal.

Since 1981, the Federal Constitution of Switzerland has guaranteed equal pay for equal work between men and women. Since 1996, the Equal Opportunities Act (GIG) has defined the most important instruments and procedures for association to take legal action in this area. In Switzerland, complaints can be made if, for example, women and men are paid differently.

Associations which, according to their statutes, promote equality between men and women, may bring actions against wage discrimination, where more than one person is affected. No court costs will be charged. A dispute resolution procedure must be carried out before an association suit can be held. Only when this has failed, the legal complaint can be initiated.

Such complaints by associations, are always declaratory complaints, which means that discrimination is merely established. Compensation cannot be claimed. The remuneration of the salaried person must be remunerated by a further action brought by the individual concerned. So far, most of the lawsuits have been in the public sector.

In Switzerland, the Environmental Protection Act (USG) and the Federal Law on Nature Conservation and Nature Protection (NHG) allow conservation organizations, home organizations and environmental organizations to bring complaints against construction projects.

© Büro zur Umsetzung von Gleichbehandlung e.V. 2011