Discrimination case against Disneyland Paris should be dropped

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Meaux, May 25: Discrimination charges against Euro Disney over job adverts that called only for "European" candidates should be dropped, prosecutors today said.

The trial was triggered by a complaint from anti-racism groups nine years ago over job adverts in the commuter paper 20 Minutes in 2006, looking for "cast members" but stipulating that they had to be "of European nationality".

Paris

The prosecutors said that it had not been established that the discriminatory infraction had been committed by the company or the person who designed the job ad. In its defence Euro Disney, which runs the theme park east of the French capital, spoke of "human error" saying the advert was a one-off that had been badly worded.

Adverts for the same positions placed at job centres and on its official website did not use the same wording.

French activist group SOS Racisme claimed the adverts were discriminatory and made an official complaint in February 2007. The trial at a courtroom in Meaux near Disneyland Paris, was due to be concluded on Wednesday but judgement was delayed until June 7.

A guilty verdict would carry a possible 225,000-euro (USD 250,000) fine, but prosecutors recommended to the judge that the charges be dropped. Prosecutors had already called, in 2013, for the case to be dropped, but a group of former SOS Racisme campaigners appealed that decision.

"Do prosecutors serve the interests of discrimination victims of Euro Disney?" said Samuel Thomas, now with anti-discrimination group Maison des Potes, who made the initial complaint and appeal. Euro Disney has a turnover of 1.3 billion euros and employs 15,000 people.

It says it has some 100 nationalities speaking 20 languages among its staff, and won a "Diversity Label" status from the government in 2008 in recognition of its efforts to build a mixed workforce. With nearly 15 million visitors per year, Disneyland Paris is the most popular private tourist destination in Europe. It is also the biggest private employer in the Paris region. 

AFP

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