Employer Pays the Price for Pregnancy Discrimination


Discrimination During Pregnancy
An Irish consultant claimed her employer discriminated against her and dismissed her when she was pregnant, has been awarded $157,000 by the Equality Tribunal.
According to The Irish Times, it had awarded $157,000 to Claire Keenan, who took a case against former employer Stephen Kehoe, trading as Mortgage Cabin.
In evidence to the tribunal, Keenan stated she began working as a mortgage consultant for Kehoe in February 2005. She said she had become pregnant and told Kehoe, and was slated to go on maternity leave in July 2008.
Asked to Take Short Maternity Leave
She said another employee, referred to as Mr A, was hired early in 2008 to take on some of the workload. She claimed Kehoe told her he did not want her going on maternity leave and referred to a person he knew who had come back to work after only two months. She submitted that he asked her to take a shorter maternity break and asked her to work from home while on leave.
Let Go Before Returning From Leave
Keenan said she was subsequently told of financial difficulties by Kehoe, and eventually informed she was being made redundant as there was not enough work. She also claimed she had been offered a check for redundancy if she signed a form that the money was “in full and final settlement of all claims arising from the termination of employment”. She said she refused to sign and did not receive the check.
In his written submissions, Kehoe, who was not present for the hearing, claimed he had never asked about shorter maternity leave. He submitted that Keenan had asked him if she could work from home and that he told her she was not to do so as Mr A was to provide the cover while she was away.
The tribunal found in favor of Keenan in respect of discrimination and made the award of $157,000 due to 12 months’ remuneration.

Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com Contact mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com





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