Employers may need to distance themselves from discriminatory remarks made by shareholders who are closely connected to or wield influence over the management of the business.

The ECJ has ruled that homophobic remarks about the recruitment of gay players, made by a shareholder in a football club in an interview to a journalist, shifted the burden of proof to the employer to show that a recruitment decision was not discriminatory. This was because, although the shareholder had no power to make binding recruitment decisions, he was perceived by the media and public as playing a leading role in the club and the club had failed to distance itself from the remarks. (Asociatia ACCEPT v Consiliul National C-81/12)