Fragile Man Wins $390K Gender Discrimination Suit After Qualified Woman Gets Promotion He Wanted

The legal travesty happened in Austria.

Gavel for lawsuit
Image via Getty/Joe Raedle
Gavel for lawsuit

For many women, gender discrimination, lower wages, and few promotions are just some of the side effects of this thing we call “work.” Watching mediocre men be given opportunities you are just as qualified for, if not more qualified for, is part of the job. But one man is showing that when the tables are turned—an allegedly less qualified woman getting a promotion over a man—well, that’s a lawsuit waiting to happen.

A man in Austria just won a gender discrimination suit against his employer for giving a new managerial position to a woman applicant instead of him. How unfortunate! The story begins in 2011 when a transport ministry official named Peter Franzmayr was competing for a promotion against two other candidates who, according to Newsweek, were all “ judged to be highly qualified for the role.”

By some unspecified metric, Franzmayr’s application was rated 0.25 percent better than Ursula Zechner's, a woman who at that time headed the rail regulator Schienen-Control (which sounds pretty impressive to me). Zechner won the job over her two male competitors, so Franzmayr sued. Cue “Cry Me a River" and turn it up to 11.

Franzmayr winning the suit, and receiving a whopping $390,000 in damages, comes as no surprise. This case reinforces the simple truth that men are terribly sore losers. Since when has a fraction of a percentage of difference in qualifications become a chargeable offense in the reverse situation? But the Federal Administrative Court, an institution built and maintained by men, decided there was a “discernible pattern, according to which [Zechner] was treated more favourably than the other candidates from the beginning,” AFP reported.


Doris Bures, who led the department at the time and is currently the Second President of the country's Parliament, stood by her decision to promote Zechner instead of Franzmayr. Sure, she admits the “mass underrepresentation of women" influenced her choice, but there are other factors that don’t go into applications that determine who gets a promotion or not, such as diversity efforts, personality, and maybe not wanting to hire a large man baby who seems like he would sue whenever he doesn’t get his way.

"I hope the current decision doesn't call into the question the principle of encouraging the promotion of women," she wrote in a statement. Me too, Doris. Me too.

Latest in Life