Federal Constitution | Federal Act on Gender Equality

Federal Constitution

The Federal Constitution prohibits discrimination, notably on the grounds of gender.

Art. 8 Equality before the law

1 Every person is equal before the law.

2 No person may be discriminated against, in particular on grounds of origin, race, gender, age, language, social position, way of life, religious, ideological, or political convictions, or because of a physical, mental or psychological disability.

3 Men and women have equal rights. The law shall ensure their equality, both in law and in practice, most particularly in the family, in education, and in the workplace. Men and women have the right to equal pay for work of equal value.

4 The law shall provide for the elimination of inequalities that affect persons with disabilities.


Federal Act on Gender Equality

The Gender Equality Act (LEg) came into effect in 1996. It aims to make gender equality a concrete reality in the professional world. The key point is the prohibition of direct and indirect discrimination throughout the salaried working relationship (in both the private and public sectors), from recruitment to dismissal, including the distribution of tasks, working conditions, salary, continuing education and promotion.
Discrimination is unlawful, not only when it is based on gender, but also civil status, family situation or pregnancy. Sexual harassment at the workplace is one of the forms of discrimination that is expressly prohibited. Lightening the burden of proof (except for discrimination during recruitment and sexual harassment) and the capacity for organizations to take legal action are designed to make proceedings easier on the basis of this law.

The website was designed by the Conférence romande de l’égalité,, which brings together all the cantonal Equal Opportunities Offices in French-speaking Switzerland. The aim of the site is to raise greater awareness among the general public and professionals about equal opportunities law, case law and  legal opinion in this area. It also sets out the procedure to be followed in the event of a dispute coming to court.

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