Equal Opportunities Commission


Press Releases

Press Releases

EOC Gives Legal Assistance in a Family Status Discrimination Case


The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) has today (25 May 2020) issued legal proceedings under the Family Status Discrimination Ordinance (FSDO), Cap. 527 in the District Court, on behalf of a woman (the Claimant) who previously worked for a company (the Respondent) as Senior Art Director. The Claimant claimed that the Respondent dismissed her on the ground of her family status.

The FSDO protects individuals from family status discrimination in areas such as employment and the provision of goods, facilities or services. Family status means the status of having responsibility for the care of an immediate family member who is related to that person by blood, marriage, adoption or affinity, such as their children.

In order to discharge her responsibility for the care of her newborn child, the Claimant had to express breast milk during her working hours, and was consequently subject to family status discrimination. The Claimant alleged that the Respondent did not provide appropriate accommodation for her to pump milk at work. Upon the Claimant’s return to work after her maternity leave, she was dismissed by the Respondent on the ground of her family status (i.e. her responsibility of taking care of her newborn child).

By taking this case to Court, the EOC hopes to remind employers that it is unlawful to discriminate against employees because of their family status under the FSDO.


Equal Opportunities Commission
25 May 2020