Equal Opportunities Commission


Press Releases

Press Releases

The EOC Gives Legal Assistance in Pregnancy Discrimination Case



The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) has today (25 August 2017) issued legal proceedings under the Sex Discrimination Ordinance (SDO), Cap. 480 in the District Court, on behalf of a woman (the Claimant) who previously worked for a company (the Respondent) as an accounting clerk. The Claimant alleged that she had been discriminated against by the Respondent on the ground of her pregnancy by dismissing her before she resumed work from her maternity leave.

Pregnancy discrimination means treating a woman less favourably because of her pregnancy. The SDO protects a woman from pregnancy discrimination in areas such as employment and the provision of goods, facilities or services. Under the SDO, it is unlawful for an employer to subject a woman to a disadvantage or dismiss her on the ground of her pregnancy.

Employment-related pregnancy discrimination remains one of the EOC’s most frequently received complaints under the SDO. The EOC has received 214 complaints on pregnancy discrimination under the SDO, representing 39% of total complaints received under the SDO, from 2014 to 2016. It shows that working pregnant women still face considerable discrimination. By taking this case to court, the EOC hopes to raise public awareness of the rights of pregnant women under the SDO, and to remind employers that it is unlawful to discriminate against an employee because of her pregnancy.
For media enquiries, please contact Mr Sam HO at 2106-2187.
Equal Opportunities Commission
25 August 2017