The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) has today (31 August 2018) issued legal proceedings under the Sex Discrimination Ordinance (SDO), Cap. 480 in the District Court, on behalf of a foreign domestic helper (the Claimant) who alleges that her ex-employer (the Respondent) discriminated against her on the ground of her pregnancy by forcing her to resign.
Pregnancy discrimination means treating a woman less favourably because of her pregnancy. The SDO protects women, including foreign domestic helpers, 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 200 complaints on pregnancy discrimination, representing 38% of total complaints received under the SDO, from 2015 to 2017. 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 workers under the SDO, and to remind employers that it is unlawful to discriminate against female employees, including foreign domestic helpers, because of their pregnancy.
Equal Opportunities Commission
31 August 2018