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Harassment: Harassment is unwanted conduct that intimidates, offends or humiliates a person because of a characteristic protected under the AGG and creates or is intended to create a hostile environment.

Harassment can be part of bullying contexts. Bullying is defined by the fact that the actions that violate dignity continue over a longer period of time, take place in a targeted and systematic manner and are aimed at violating the personality of the person being bullied. Bullying does not necessarily have to be related to AGG characteristics, but can for example be due to tensions in the work unit, power struggles or personal dislikes.


Direct - Direct discrimination occurs when the unequal treatment is directly based on one of the characteristics listed in section 1 AGG. Examples of this are job advertisements with discriminatory age limits, the dismissal of a woman because of pregnancy (gender) or the refusal of membership in a fitness studio because of ethnic origin.

Indirect - Indirect discrimination against a person is not obviously because of a characteristic mentioned in section 1 AGG, but results from seemingly neutral criteria. These initially apply equally to everyone, but in their effect they have a stronger disadvantaging effect on certain groups than on others. For example, a job advertisement is indirectly discriminatory if it requires applicants to have German as their mother tongue to work in a nursery. This job has low language requirements, but such a requirement excludes those who do not speak German as their mother tongue, e.g. immigrants.

Empowerment: The main purpose of empowerment is to open up opportunities for marginalised and stigmatised groups in society to participate and shape their lives. Instead of emphasising the deficits of those involved, the focus is on their own potentials and resources. Especially people who belong to minorities and/or are permanently exposed to foreign definitions and negative stereotypes due to certain characteristics or group affiliations and are confronted with discrimination and/or racism and therefore experience themselves as victims in society can be supported through empowerment to actively step out of the victim role and learn to exert influence on events and situations that are important for them. In Germany, this includes people who are widely pigeonholed as having a 'migration background' and who are members of ethnic and religious minorities, such as black or Muslim Germans.

Intersectionality: This term refers to the specific interaction or "overlapping" of different discrimination features. These mutually influence each other and can no longer be separated from each other. Discrimination on the basis of the characteristics protected in the AGG is often joined by characteristics not protected in the AGG and interacts in an intersectional way. For example, social status, employment situation and/or family status are intersectional amplifiers of disadvantages, such as when a large family of refugees on transfer payments is disadvantaged when looking for housing. Another example is racist admission controls at discotheques. These mainly affect young men who are perceived as migrants. Here, young age, male gender and ethnic origin of the people concerned have an effect together. They are turned away at the club door because all three dimensions come together here.

Multiple discrimination: The General Equal Treatment Act (§ 4 AGG) also protects against discrimination on multiple grounds, even though the law does not define multiple discrimination more precisely. Multiple discrimination or multidimensional discrimination can occur when different grounds of discrimination come together and reinforce each other. An example of this additive form of discrimination is when a woman with a disability, when applying for a new job, would firstly have structurally worse chances of access to the labour market due to her disability and secondly, as a woman, be subject to the indirect discrimination risk of being paid less than men in the new job (gender pay gap). Both forms of discrimination can be named and analysed separately.

Mobbing: Mobbing is generally defined as the systematic hostility, harassment or discrimination of others.

Compensating for disadvantages (Nachteilsausgleich): Is an individual support in studies for students with chronic physical or mental illnesses and disabilities.

Positive action: Positive action refers to measures that are suitable and appropriate to compensate for existing disadvantages by favouring certain groups of people.

Sexual harassment: A specific form of harassment is sexual harassment, which is caused by unwanted sexually directed behaviour. These behaviours range from inappropriate sexual innuendos, staring, lewd remarks, spreading pornographic material to sexualised physical assaults. Sexual harassment violates the dignity of the person concerned. The decisive factor is not whether the violation of dignity is intentional.

Stalking: Stalking includes the direct or indirect approach of a person to interfere with his or her sphere of life and thereby interfere with his or her freedom of action and decision.