The EOC Gives Legal Assistance to a Foreign Domestic Helper in a Pregnancy Discrimination Case
The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) has today (12 April 2019) 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 claims that her former employer (the Respondent) discriminated against her on the ground of her pregnancy by terminating her employment during her pregnancy.
Pregnancy discrimination means treating a woman less favourably because of her pregnancy. 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.
Pregnancy discrimination in employment field remains one of the areas in which the EOC has received the highest number of complaints under the SDO. From 2016 to 2018, the EOC received 223 complaints on pregnancy discrimination, representing 32% of all complaints received during this period under the SDO. This shows that pregnant women in Hong Kong still suffer considerable discrimination in the workplace. 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, on the ground of their pregnancy.
Equal Opportunities Commission
12 April 2019
12 April 2019