District Court of Amsterdam of 21 February 2011 and Equal Treatment Commission of 22 March 2011
Both the District Court of Amsterdam and the Equal Treatment Commission (ETC) found direct discrimination on the ground of age in a claim brought against KLM. An air stewardess, born in 1950, worked for KLM since 1993 under a permanent employment contract. According to the applicable collective agreement, KLM may terminate a permanent employment contract with air stewards/stewardesses on the date when they reach the age of 60. Until the age of 65, the employee may however ask for a contract extension for which refusal may only intervene in case of ‘special circumstances’, such as incapacity to perform the work or defects in the employee performance. In the present case, it was established that no regular performance evaluation of the plaintiff had taken place over the last years. However, several counter performance previously led to formal warnings. After the woman refused the termination of her employment contract at the age of 60, she was offered a temporary contract for one year with no intention from KLM to renew it further.