EOC Welcomes Ruling on Pregnancy Discrimination and Victimization Case
The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) welcomes today's District Court ruling (3 March 2006) in favour of Ms. CHAN Choi Yin, who was subjected to unlawful discrimination and victimization on the ground of her pregnancy.
The Court held that it is unlawful discrimination for an employer to put pressure on a pregnant employee due to her pregnancy related sick leave and maternity leave, even if the employer did not intentionally discriminate. Furthermore, the employer's insensitive responses to Ms. CHAN's health problems reflected a discriminatory attitude, so did the employer's readiness in leveling fraudulent accusations against Ms. CHAN.
To mark the degree of hurt and indignation felt by Ms. CHAN, the Court awarded a total sum of $544,156 including $200,000 for injury to feelings, the highest award in similar pregnancy cases so far, taking into account the unfair treatment Ms. CHAN faced which lasted about 2 years.
EOC Chairperson, Mr. Raymond TANG, said, "The Commission receives a large number of pregnancy related complaints every year. Although half of the work force is now comprised of women, the fact remains that many of them still face discrimination during and after their pregnancies. In Ms. CHAN's case, she was discriminated and treated unfavourably due to her pregnancy. After she lodged a complaint to the EOC, she was victimized and was deliberately isolated by her colleagues. Ms. CHAN's victory in court today sends a strong message to employers that it is illegal to discriminate against a woman on the ground of her pregnancy."
Enquiry: Ms Mariana LAW 21062226