Antidiscrimination Law in the Italian Courts: New Frontiers on the Topic in the Age of Algorithms

by Raffaello Santagata de Castro

In Italy, as in many other countries, the recent pandemic has enriched the debate regarding the problem of discrimination in the workplace. Social and economic restrictions introduced by the Government in order to slow the spread of Covid-19 have exacerbated existing inequalities, especially those relating to gender, and created new ones. The aim of this article is to examine what role anti-discrimination law can play in addressing these inequalities and consider how the law should respond to the new challenges. The article provides an analysis and critique of current judicial approaches to discrimination law. Particularly, it contains an in-depth examination of recent case law on discriminatory dismissal and discrimination on the ground of trade union membership, dealing with some conceptual and enforcement-related issues. First, it raises the difficulty in drawing a bright line distinction between direct and indirect discrimination (paras 3 and 3.1). As an example, the article analyzes the recent and relevant ruling of the Tribunal of Bologna on discrimination by algorithm. Finally, this topic will be taken into account with regard to other problems, such as those of burden of proof, statistical evidence (para 4), legal standing, and collective interest bodies entitled to bring enforcement proceedings (para 5). 

DOI 10.23815/2421-2156.ITALJ           ISSN 2421-2156

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