Submit a complaint about discrimination
This page contains information about how you can submit a complaint about discrimination and what happens once you have submitted a complaint.
How to submit a complaint about discrimination
You can submit a complaint about:
- having experienced discrimination
- having been subjected to reprisals (punishment)
- having been disadvantaged in connection with parental leave
- an employer or education provider having failed in their efforts to prevent discrimination (active measures)
Please note that you can submit a complaint about discrimination on behalf of someone else. For example, a parent can submit a discrimination complaint on behalf of their child.
The online form is in Swedish, but you can fill the form in any language.
What happens once I have submitted a discrimination complaint?
We process all complaints received by DO. First, we assess if the situation you have complained about is covered by the law. In other words, whether the situation you have reported can be considered discrimination, sexual harassment, reprisals or disadvantage associated with parental leave. If your complaint is not covered by the provisions of the Discrimination Act we cannot continue the investigation. We will inform you if we decide not to continue the investigation of your complaint.
We want to investigate as many complaints as possible as we want those who have been discriminated against to obtain redress. However, due to the number of complaints received we will not be able to investigate all complaints covered by the Discrimination Act. DO receives a high number of complaints each year (just over 3,500 complaints in 2020) and it is not possible for us to investigate all of them. A selection of cases will be made out of those who falls within the scope of the Discrimination Act. You will be notified if we do not investigate your complaint.
When DO investigates a complaint we assess whether the situation complained about is prohibited by law – i.e. discrimination, sexual harassment, reprisals or disadvantage in accordance with the Parental Leave Act. If the case falls within the scope of the Discrimination Act or Parental Leave Act we assess whether it is possible to claim compensation from the entity (for example an employer, a school or a shop) that has committed the act that is prohibited under the Discrimination Act. If needed, we can also initiate a legal proceeding.
The court makes an independent assessment whether the situation is covered by the law and will then determine the size of the compensation for discrimination or any other compensation the victim may be entitled to.
Important to remember
- Fill in your complaint and describe in as much detail as possible what has happened and when it happened.
- Describe the way(s) in which the incident may be associated with the grounds of discrimination.
- It is important that you act fast when it comes to complaints concerning working life. The time limit for a court to take on a case can be four months in certain cases but is sometimes limited to two weeks from when the incident took place.
- If you are a union member, contact your trade union. It is the trade unions that should be the first instance providing assistance to its members in cases of discrimination.
- Your complaint becomes a public document. This also applies to any appendices to the complaint. This means that anyone can contact DO and file a request to get access to the documents. However, before they are released, DO assesses whether the information in the documents shall be kept confidential under the Public Access to Information and Secrecy Act.
- If DO decides to investigate your complaint, the person who is responsible for the alleged discrimination will be informed that you have submitted the complaint.
Entering personal data on the form is voluntary. Accordingly you do not need to provide your contact details or other personal data for DO to be able to review, read and register your complaint.
Personal data is collected in order to allow DO to accomplish its efforts to tackle discrimination and promote equal rights and opportunities.
Personal data is only processed if this is necessary in order to enable DO to perform its duties. Personal data may subsequently be used in the event of supervisory measures and will be disclosed at that time to those parties that are involved in the supervisory case.
Personal data may also be disclosed in accordance with the principle of public access to official documents, both to mass media and to individuals. DO always assesses whether data in an official document is protected by confidentiality prior to it being disclosed.
Do you have any questions?
If you have further questions, you can search among our questions and answers (in swedish).
You can also contact DO's information service. They can answer questions about
- the Discrimination Act, the prohibition against disadvantaging a person who is on parental leave or other provisions relating to discrimination.
- DO's remit and how we work.
DO's information service cannot
- answer questions about whether someone has been disadvantaged or discriminated against in an individual case.
- make any other assessments of individual cases.
You are welcome to contact us and we will answer your questions.
If you have a disability that prevents you from writing to us by email, you can contact us in other ways. It may be via telephone or by contacting us with the aid of an interpretation service. Call our switchboard on +46 8-120 20 700.