Discrimination is treating someone unfairly on the basis of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or age. Discrimination may be illegal. You can complain about discrimination to the Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombud.

Examples of discrimination:

  • An employer who will hire only Norwegian men aged 18 to 30 discriminates against female job applicants, applicants with a different national origin and job seekers who are older.
  • A restaurant or bar that only admits white people discriminates against anyone with a different skin colour.
  • A housing company that will only let to Norwegian heterosexual couples discriminates against homosexual renters and renters of a different national origin.
  • An employer who fires a woman because she wears a religious head covering.
  • A visually impaired person is told that she is not a candidate for a job due to her impaired functionality.
  • A woman is fired because she is pregnant.

What is illegal?

The prohibition against discrimination varies in different areas of society. Here is a brief overview:

  • Working life

    Discrimination on the basis of sex, ethnicity, skin colour, religion, disability, sexual orientation or age is prohibited. The prohibition applies to all aspects of working life. For example, it is illegal to discriminate during hiring or firing. Harassment is also prohibited.
  • Housing market

    Discrimination on the basis of gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation is prohibited. The prohibition applies to both selling and letting. Letting out rooms in your own home is exempt from the prohibition.
  • Community life

    The prohibition against discrimination on the basis of gender, ethnicity and religion applies to all areas of society.

How can discrimination be proven?

The object of your complaint is required to provide information to the Ombud. In discrimination cases, the burden of proof is shared. This means that if there are grounds to believe that a person has been discriminated against, the opposite party must document that discrimination has not taken place. If a person who is best qualified does not get a job, the employer must prove that discrimination has not taken place. This means that if you believe that you have been discriminated against in applying for a job and bring the matter before the Ombud, the employer must inform the Ombud why you did not get the job.