Discrimination at the POLE EMPLOI

I've lived here since 2006; Occasionally needing to access the pole emploi and have always felt a certain agitated dislike, coming from some of their employees. I thought it was a racist issue.

Since becoming partially, permanently handicapped ,last year, I have come up against an appaling lack of care, understanding and support in every interaction with the pole emploi, and I just KNOW it's not coming from me. I am generally a very upbeat, postive person who tries to rise above problems and find practical soloutions wherever possible.

All I've been asking for is a chance to join in with some training on offer to all unemployed people, by getting a specially adapted chair, or simply by pushing some ordinary chairs together and using them as a chaise longue, which will enable me to study, pain free.

They keep saying no. Even the specialist "CAP Emploi," which is supposed to be there for handicapped people say no. They have actually said I won't be able to do it because it will "look strange" and will make other people "feel uncomfortable" .

Has anyone else had the same problem? What is wrong with France? I can't believe they can be so absoloutely completely discriminatory to the disabled, what on earth is their problem? I feel my future may well lie in the court of european human rights, with no job, money or support.

I REALLY need feedback on this, which is why I'm posting it on a general topic as well as the Disability Bites group pages.

tHANKS FOR SHARING YOUR DAUGHTERS STORIES cAROL; that's very interesting. Unusual as well, to find two girls in one family with scoliosis, perhaps there is more research that has not been done into a genetic link. One would imagine that working with a disibilty brings encouragement and extra benefits, but unfortunately it seems not to be the case. I worked as long as possible myself too, until a year ago, but since I was self employed, all it resulted in was becoming poorer and poorer until I had virtually no income and the pain was unmanagable. The physio I've had here is very impressive, though I still havn't been referred to a specialist in Scoliosis. Dr Mauroy in Lyon is one and I shall be asking for a referral to him at my next review. I have lots of very good information about specific exercises, sleeping positions and daily moving and handling, which all help me to prevent the progression of my curves without surgery. If your daughters would like me to send them references I'd be happy to share them. I'm also in french and UK scoliosis forums which are useful. I need to do a minimum of 30 minutes a day and remain reclining

If the curves are higher than 50 degrees, one is classed as 50 percent disabled in France, if accompanied by the usual and expected limitations in walking and remaining upright.

One thing I gleaned, from a french woman on the other blog, before it was erased, was that employees from the Pole emploi are treated very badly, similar to France Telecom and Leclerc, hence their discriminatory attitudes. I'd advise your daughters to be aware of this before going through the process and also to be prepared for a long 5 month wait for a disabled badge.



scoliosis Carol and why would I be thinking of sueing the POLEMPLOI and putting up this blog which is designed to advertise the fact that they are being obstructive by not helping me to find a job, if I wern't looking for one? the key sentence here for you to re-read is "All I've been asking for is a chance to join in with some training on offer to all unemployed people, by getting a specially adapted chair, or simply by pushing some ordinary chairs together and using them as a chaise longue, which will enable me to study, pain free."

Yes, Carol, I can't find them either. the blog has dissappeared. I approved ALL of your comments whenever I read them. I didn't delete any of them .

I emailed my local office, which is who sent the letter claiming I had not attended, explaining that I was making a complaint against the Poitiers offices manager, and that I had not received any letter or email with any appointment. They apologised and wrote to me to confirm the appointment had not existed and on the phone, during the apology, said it had been an error in communication between Poitiers and Montmorillon, which I took to mean, yes, the woman in Poitiers who I'd complained about , decided to try and lie about me, as well as discriminate against me. I suggest, if you don't get a positive response, you write an email (as good as a registered letter, but free): insist on knowing the name of someone who says they sent you an appointment, and what evidence they have that you ever received it. They will then have to lie and present falsified documents, or back down.

An update. OH re-registed at the begining of July. Yesterday he got a letter by email saying that he had not turned up for an appointment on the 20th and will be removed from the list again. Phoned the central line who could not understand what was going on as there was no record of any appointment and no notification of one sent out! We have started the complaint ball rolling - hopefully if we make enough noise OH will be top of the list when they start sorting out the retirement mess in November. Exactly what happened to you Jo. I did remember to send the complaint by registered post - they are getting no wriggle room.

I had almost the opposite experience with our Pole Emploi.

Although I do not have a handicap I was asked/ordered to attend a training day on getting employment, as I have been signing on for a while now.

It turned out that all the other participants had a form of disability so I was the one that felt uncomfortable! Others tried to put me at my ease by suggesting that my own handicap was being English - I rather liked them for that!

Certainly the session was very useful for them as the content was all about the sorts of things and rights that you mention. Are there advocates who could take up your cause, I wonder? Or try contacting one of the many non-govermental organisations who may be able to support and advise.

Good luck, and persevere!

Bernadette, I believe the same systemic problems exist here as in the UK, which are based on keeping as many people OFF the unemployment figures as possible, so using any excuse, even if it's a lie, to cross people off. I also had a letter stating that I hadn't turned up for an appointment, which had never been made for me in the first place, and after I threatened to take it further, they backed down and I'm still on the list. Your computer may well show a record of your OH signing on, so I would try and find it as evidence, or at the very least try claiming that you have the evidence and see what happens next..

They do not seem to care. OH was due to retire last year (on the 40 year rule). We rented out the commercial property - do not get me started on that one - and then they changed the rules. To keep the contributions going OH (after paying a fortune over the years for employees) registered as unemployed. Does not seem to matter who or what you are they will treat you as non an nonentity. First visit OH had to wait for half an hour whilst the offficial talked to her friend and then she did not know how to use the computer system when it came to his appointment. A month later logged in on the appointed day to reregister, three weeks later told that OH had been removed from the system for not logging in! Will follow up Brians advice - All helps, thank you.

Richard thanks for adding your experience to the discussion. If you've had the same troubles as I have perhaps we could both try the types of steps Brian has given us links for. I'd like to hear about other peoples experiences in a bit more detail it might help to create a picture of how entrenched in discrimination the Pole Emploi really are. I have been given a specific individual contact advisor at the CAP emploi, who is supposed to meet regularly with me and help me. But my latest conversation with her makes me suspect that she has been influenced by the woman from the Pole emploi whom I've already had to complain about. They are both claiming that no employer will want to employ me if I need a special chair and that the employer or training institution won't be able to afford special equipment, but there are grants for this advertised and I know employers still have to take on a certain number of handicapped workers, for which they get benefits. They are also claiming that there is no free training available for anything but I don't believe them. I think I am being discriminated against unfairly and I refuse to accept it.

wow thanks for this Brian, I really appreciate it as I am beginning to suspect I will get no help unless I try to take punitive action. They are actively refusing to help in any way and it doesn't ring true or make economic sense either.

Unfortunatly my experience tells me differently

Richard, I beg to differ. The rules and regulations give accessto a number of courses of action. Firstly, one can write a complaint (LRAR, of course) to senior officals of the Pole Emploi, explain, stating a case and referring to these regulations. A clear answer will come and further action may follow from that or satisfaction be acheived. Secondly, if one feels they have a serious enough case they can go to the Ombudsman (the Mediator of the Republic) who is is an 'independent authority' in charge to improve, through actions, relations between citizens and administration. The ombudsman intervenes in disputes by suggesting to both parties solutions of friendly settlement of their disputes. If the complainant's justifiable case is rejected, the ombudsman can recommend an appropriate solution for that case. He has only instructional rights and is also allowed to appeal to the public prosecutor. The hitch there is that the ombudsman can only be approached through a member of parliament (a congressman or senator) which again involves a registered letter stating the case and a bit of a wait.

The rules also provide the line of direct legal redress, but that takes years and costs the earth, so basically best forgotten.

So Richard, Jo is asking for information and advice, not to be told that nothing will happen in effect, which is what I am trying to do and hope she is able to use.

All the rules and regs won't make the slightest bit of difference,many off the staff are on short contracts and know there is no job for them at the end.I'm very hard of hearing and still ,even from cap emploi,get ring the automated telephone number.

Try some of these for size:

  • 32000L0043

    Council Directive 2000/43/EC of 29 June 2000 implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin

    Official Journal L 180 , 19/07/2000 P. 0022 - 0026

    • 32000L0078

      Council Directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000 establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation

      Official Journal L 303 , 02/12/2000 P. 0016 - 0022

    • 31976L0207

      Council Directive 76/207/EEC of 9 February 1976 on the implementation of the principle of equal treatment for men and women as regards access to employment, vocational training and promotion, and working conditions

      Official Journal L 039 , 14/02/1976 P. 0040 - 0042

    • 32004L0113

      Council Directive 2004/113/EC of 13 December 2004 implementing the principle of equal treatment between men and women in the access to and supply of goods and services

      Official Journal L 373 , 21/12/2004 P. 0037 - 0043

      Official Journal L 153 , 07/06/2006 P. 0294 - 0300

    • 32006L0054

      Directive 2006/54/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2006 on the implementation of the principle of equal opportunities and equal treatment of men and women in matters of employment and occupation (recast)

      Official Journal L 204 , 26/07/2006 P. 0023 - 0036

      • 31986L0378

        Council Directive 86/378/EEC of 24 July 1986 on the implementation of the principle of equal treatment for men and women in occupational social security schemes

        Official Journal L 225 , 12/08/1986 P. 0040 - 0042

        • 32006R1107

          Regulation (EC) No 1107/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2006 concerning the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air (Text with EEA relevance)

          Official Journal L 204 , 26/07/2006 P. 0001 - 0009

          They'll do to start with, especially the last one.