In law, discrimination is any adverse treatment of a person or group of people, based on criteria laid down by law, in a situation or field defined by law.

Today, the law recognizes more than 25 criteria of discrimination. Thus, discriminating against a person on the grounds of sexual orientation, age, religious affiliation, etc. is prohibited by law, as well as by the international conventions to which France is a signatory.



The 25 criteria of discrimination


I am a woman and, unlike my male colleagues, my career has not progressed in 15 years.


I was not hired because of my North African origins.


I h been refused training by my employer ever since he found out I was pregnant.

Family situation

I was not hired because I am a mother of three children.

Physical appearance

I was refused a nursing job because of my larger body.

Family name

I did not get a job interview because of my foreign-sounding name.

Place of residence

My telephone operator refuses my banking details because my bank account is held in overseas French territories (see French Law on Real Equality in Overseas France).

State of health

My contract was not renewed because I was off sick.


My child was refused participation in a school outing because of their disability.

Genetic traits

I was asked to undergo genetic testing as part of my pre-employment medical examination.


I could not get the job because I am a smoker.

Sexual orientation

They refused to rent us an apartment because we are a female couple.

Gender identity

A doctor refused to treat me because I am transgender.


I have been refused a consumer loan because the bank thinks I am too old.

Political opinions

The town hall refuses to rent me a venue because of my political opinions.

Union activities

My career has not progressed because I am an employee representative.

Belonging or not belonging, whether real or assumed, to an ethnic group, race or nation

I was refused a camping pitch because of my African origins.

Belonging or not belonging, whether real or assumed, to a religion.

Access to a public institution is forbidden to me because I wear a hijab.

Loss of autonomy

My father, who is dependent, lives in a retirement home, and is neglected compared to other more autonomous people.

Discrimination against a person because of their particular vulnerability resulting from their financial situation, apparent or known to the perpetrator.

As a beneficiary of the disabled adult allowance (AAH - Allocation adulte handicapé), I was not allocated this accommodation even though I had the means to pay the rent.

Ability to express oneself in a language other than French.

I was refused access to this nightclub because I was overheard speaking Creole.

Discrimination between people because they have undergone or refused to undergo hazing or testified to such acts (see French Penal Code).

I was refused membership of my business school’s sports association because I did not agree to go along with the hazing ritual.

Discrimination between people because they have been subjected to or refused to be subjected to sexual or psychological harassment (see French Labor Code).

My line manager bullies me and treats me worse than my colleagues.