Judicial Rulings Concerning Labor Conditions of Biologists in Assisted-Reproduction Treatment Centers

The following is a succinct summary of recently enacted regulations and ensuing legal proceedings regarding the employment conditions of biologists within assisted reproduction technology (ART) centers.

In 2015, the Ministry of Health introduced a directive requiring biologists to “obtain certification as laboratory supervisors in order to engage in practices within assisted reproduction technology (ART) centers and perform procedures pertaining to embryology”. Nevertheless, following litigation, the 8th Chamber of the Council of State, in its decision no. E. 2015/4888, nullified this mandate. The verdict stated that such a requirement “curtails the freedom of employment by linking the employment of biologists in ART centers to certification”.

Subsequently, the Ministry of Health proceeded to enact the Laboratory Practices Standard regulation, which specified that “biologist(s), who have fulfilled doctoral programs within histology and embryology departments of medical schools” would qualify as laboratory supervisors. Thereafter, a lawsuit was filed seeking the annulment of this regulation. In response, the 15th Chamber of the Council of State, through its decision no. E. 2016/104, ruled in favor of annulment. The decision argued that “an administrative entity, in compliance with the law, must institute certain measures to safeguard vested rights or legitimate expectations of individuals by virtue of the prior regulations“.

Finally, the Ministry of Health issued an amendment regulation in April 2018 stipulating that biologists who have successfully completed doctoral programs within histology and embryology departments of medical faculties could attend certified training programs involving ART clinical practices; 15th Chamber of Council of State, in its decision for stay of execution in file no. E. 2018/ 1552, resolved that it was “unlawful not to safeguard the vested rights of individuals who have undergone training for laboratory supervisor certification and/or those who have been employed under this certification during the tenure of the previous regulation”.