Equal Opportunities Commission


Press Releases

Press Releases

EOC Welcomes District Court Decision on First Case of Pregnancy Discrimination


The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) welcomes today's District Court ruling (26 February 2001) regarding Ms Chang Ying Kwan, who was subjected to unlawful discrimination on the ground of her pregnancy.

The Court ruled that Ms. Chang was unlawfully discriminated against by her former employer because of her pregnancy, and the Court was satisfied that pregnancy was a reason to require her to resign or be demoted.

It was pointed out in the judgment that her supervisors saw the pregnancy as a factor that would, "in their minds ensure that an employee who was otherwise a satisfactory employee, but one whom they did not like, would be more likely to leave the company".

Furthermore, the Court ruled specifically that Ms. Chang was unlawfully victimized by her former employer by reason of her complaint to the EOC of pregnancy discrimination.

The case made it clear that although an employer might not hold prejudice against a pregnant employee, the employer would nevertheless be held vicariously liable for the unlawful acts of its employees. Today's ruling held Ms. Chang's former employer responsible for unlawful discrimination and victimization against her.

Although Ms. Chang resigned in July 2000, it is significant that the Court held, the whole treatment of Ms. Chang amounted to constructive dismissal by her former employer.

Enquiry: EOC Hotline 25118211