P worked for a company who sacked her because she asked for flexible working time so that she could care for her disabled son. She alleged unfair dismissal based on discrimination. The directive on discrimination 2000/78 was held by the ECJ to cover those discriminated against on the basis of their association with a disabled person, as well as disabled people themselves.
AG Maduro: “One way of undermining the dignity and autonomy of people who belong to a certain group is to target not them, but third persons who are closely associated with them and do not themselves belong to the group.” Therefore it makes sense to include those associated with disabled people as potential victims of discrimination.
ECJ: “The principle of equal treatment enshrined in the Directive in that area applies not to a particular category of person but by reference to the grounds mentioned in Article 1. That interpretation is supported by the wording of Article 13 EC, which constitutes the legal basis of Directive 2000/78, and which confers on the Community the competence to take appropriate action to combat discrimination based, inter alia, on disability.” Article 1 is targeted towards combating discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation as regards employment.