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Judgment on gender-sensitive language at Audi – lawsuit dismissed

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Audi AG can continue to communicate in a gender-sensitive manner without restrictions. And also against a VW manager who defended himself against emails with a gender gap. The gender gap is an underscore between the masculine form of a word and the feminine ending, such as “boss” or “employee”.

The Ingolstadt District Court has now dismissed the injunction suit brought by VW director Alexander B. Even before the verdict was announced, however, the court had pointed out that the decision only concerned the specific VW director. , applicant.

The plaintiff sees his personal rights violated – the judge does not agree

The employee of parent company VW, who has to work with colleagues from Audi, had sued the Ingolstadt carmaker for an injunction. Plaintiff sees his general personal rights violated by Audi’s gender guidelines (Az. 83 O 1394/21).

Presiding judge Christoph Hellerbrand pointed out that the VW employee is not obliged to actively use the guide because it is aimed only at Audi employees. The plaintiff’s passive solicitude was not sufficient for the court. He has no right “to be left alone,” Hellerbrand said.

Plaintiff’s lawyer: client is “definitely against discrimination”

The plaintiff’s lawyer, Dirk Giesen, had meanwhile stressed that his client was “without a doubt in favor of equal rights and against discrimination”. However, “the use of the gender language prescribed in the guidelines leads to further discrimination and violates the general personality right” of his client, particularly in the form of gender identity. This violation already occurs when his “customer must read gender-sensitive wording”.

The applicant considers the appeal

The plaintiff announced that he now wishes to review the verdict with his lawyers. “I don’t explicitly rule out that there are further steps,” he said of possible legal remedies. If he appeals, the Higher Regional Court in Munich would have to deal with the case again.

The plaintiff also said that regardless of the legal process, he would like there to be a discussion about the correct forms of gender. He rejects the gender guidelines used at Audi because they lead to further injustices. “That can’t be the last word.” He also pointed out that gender language must also be readable.

Audi: sign for equality

The automaker published a corporate policy on gender language in 2021. “From now on, Audi wants to make gender-sensitive wording ubiquitous in Audi’s internal and external written communication,” the company said. in March 2021. It is a sign of equality and should better reflect gender diversity.

Oral proceedings had previously failed

At the June hearing, an out-of-court settlement between the parties failed. Lawyers for Audi AG refused to remove the gender forms from all emails to the VW process manager and accompanying attachments. They said it was inconvenient.

The process has gained national attention as there are guidelines for using gender-sensitive language in other companies as well.

Source www.br.de

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