Seeking Legal Advice and Representation

What should I do if I believe I’ve been discriminated against at work for being LGBT or HIV positive?

Being discriminated against at work can be upsetting, so it’s important to talk to someone you trust about your experiences. Having a personal support system can also give you the clarity you’ll need to consider your next steps:

Seeking Legal Advice and Representation 

Social and Economic Security are very important aspects for human security.

In this aspect the right to work and its protection labor rights including the terms of

suitable for work as well as protection against discrimination and exploitation are factors

very important in ensuring human safety. How to access-legal advice?

  1. Contact a specialized CSO - There are several CSO that are specialized in working with LGBT or HIV positive persons who also provide free legal advice and representation at the rule of law institutions. CSGD is a non governmental organization, established in 2003 that promotes, protects the rights of LGBTI people in Kosovo. It also seeks to empower the LGBTI people through advocating, provision of services that improve their welfare, and raising the awareness of the Kosovar society. The online platform is designated to offer services for vulnerable groups to have access to justice by receiving online free legal aid. Expanding the reach of the free legal aid services in places where they do not have access through both community visits by free legal aid staff and remote access tools using phone or internet.
  2. Hire a lawyer - Depending on your financial situation, you should consider to go to a lawyer, if you can afford it. You can decide whom to hire (and fire) as your lawyer. However, remember that when you fire a lawyer, you may be charged a reasonable amount for the work already done. When you agree to hire a lawyer and that lawyer agrees to legally represent you, a two-way relationship begins in which you both have the same goal - to reach a satisfactory resolution to a legal matter. To this end, each of you must act responsibly toward a lawyer-client relationship, acting responsibly involves duties on both sides. Every lawyer must act carefully and in a timely manner in handling a client’s legal problem. You can find the names and contact information of licensed lawyers in this link:
  3. Contact Free Legal Aid Agency -But if you can’t afford a lawyer or you are not interested on reaching out to an CSO or hiring a lawyer you can go to the Free Legal Aid Agency. The Kosovo Constitution guarantees the right to free legal assistance. In 2012, the Kosovo Assembly adopted the Law on Free Legal Aid (the Law), which guarantees free legal aid during criminal proceedings for individuals charged with a criminal offence who do not have sufficient financial means pay for legal representation. For more information about Free Legal Aid Agency go to By clicking on the following link, all citizens now have the opportunity to apply online for free legal aid, respectively in the municipality / region where they come from:


2. Documenting the Discrimination

If you are being discriminated against at work (see “How do I know for surewhether I’ve been discriminated against by my employer?”), try to collectevidence about the discriminatory conduct and make a list of any witnesses.Evidence includes any emails, photographs or other physical evidence of how you have been treated.  It also means you need to take notes. If a co-workeror a supervisor sexually harasses, abuses or discriminates against you in any way, write down your experience in a journal or memo as soon as possible. It is much more persuasive if you can produce a detailed memo or journal entry than it is to attempt to recall an occasion of discrimination that occurred monthsago. If there is a legal claim, other people will be able to read what you wrote, sodon’t say anything that is inaccurate or that you wouldn’t want others to read later. In your notes, include a chronology of events leading up to and following any problems you’ve had at work. List as many details as possible, including:

  • The date, time and location, the names of the people involved and a description of what took place
  • What was said, who said it, when and where it was said, and who was in the room or vicinity and may have heard it
  • Any differences in treatment (for example, if non-LGBT or HIV-negative employees were treated differently in a similar situation)
  • Any company procedures or policies that weren’t followed
  • Any witnesses
  • Any reasons the employer or supervisor gave for what happened, if there was such a statement
  • Timing (for example, if problems seemed to start after you came out to your boss or co-workers, or a change in supervision caused problems where there had been none before)
  • Copies or photographs of any offensive material or material that you believe may be important for other reasons
  • Documentation of any attempts you or others made to address thesituation (often the best practice is to put such requests in writing and keep a copy)


You should keep this documentation at home, not in the workplace, and your records should also include a current copy of your employee procedures related emails, correspondence and other paperwork to the extent that company policies allow. Also, try to obtain a copy of yourpersonnel file, including performance evaluations, if it can be done withoutcausing problems. Obtaining a copy of this file early in the process prevents adishonest employer from backdating negative documents and simply placing them in your file.


3. Reporting the Discrimination and pursuing a legal action


Obtain and read your employer’s personnel policies and regulations to learn about any contractual rights you may have, as well as any complaint procedures.


  1. Internal policies / regulations of the institution or organization-This means employer’s personnel policies, employee manual and the regulations of organization or institution you work for. You can, and in some cases is mandatory to initiate internal procedures first. Consider any grievance procedures available to you through your employer. You can try explaining the problem to your supervisor or to a union or human resources representative. It is always best to do so in writing (and make a copy). In many cases, including instances of sexualharassment, you may be required to present your complaint first through your employer’s internal grievance process first before you can make a claim against your employer in court or at the Ombudsperson.
  2. Other procedures as described on the Law on protection from discrimination -The purpose of this law is to define a general framework for prevention and combat of discrimination on the grounds of nationality or affiliation with a community, social origin or nationality, race, ethnicity, color, birth, origin, sex, gender, gender identity, orientation sexuality, language, nationality, religion and belief, political affiliation, political opinion or other opinions, social or personal status, age, marital or marital status, pregnancy, maternity, financial status, health status, disability, genetic inheritance or any other basis, in order to apply the principle of treatment equal.


You can direct your complaint about your employer in one of the following:


Ombudsperson-The duty of the Ombudsperson is to promote equality and to prevent and address discrimination. The ombudsman is an independent and self-governing authority. You can turn to the ombudsman if you have experienced or witnessed discrimination on the grounds of origin, language, nationality, religion, opinion, political activity, trade union activity, family relationships, age, sexual orientation, health status, disability or any other personal reasons.

The ombudsman against discrimination provides advice and guidance, helps to clarify the suspected of discrimination and, if necessary, takes measures to guarantee the legal rights of the victim of discrimination.

Contact: Migjeni, Prishtinë 10000

Phone number:0800 15555


Labor inspectorate-The Labor Inspectorate is an independent body of the State Administration which operates within the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare. LI is the only body within the executive power of the Republic of Kosovo which monitors the implementation of legislation in the field of labor relations and safety and health at work.

Labour inspectorate is led by the Chief Inspector of the Labor Inspectorate, who reports directly to the Minister of MLSW on his work and that of the institution he leads.

             Contact: Office of the Chief Inspector

Rr.Qamil Hoxha no.30 - Prishtina Kosovo

             Phone number: 038 211-520 / 038 211-521

             Centrex: 26 501/26 502


File a complaint in courts - With a lawyer’s assistance, you can alsoconsider to pursue legal action in Kosovo courts. You can do this through administrative conflict to annual the decision or require compensation for the damage in civil procedure.