One employer in Australia told a clerical assistant that her pregnancy "had caused them a lot of inconvenience and that she should bear the consequences", the Fair Work Ombudsman reported. A replacement was hired immediately, and Jiongqui Ye was told not to return to work. When Jiongqui told her employer that she was pregnant and had to take sick leave due to health complications, they ignored workplace laws and sacked her. Jiongqui lost her baby, and after attempting to assume work, she found that her position had already been filled by someone else.
The Fair Work Ombudsman rightfully described this case as heinous conduct you wouldn't expect in this day and age. Unfortunately, I am sure that cases like this happen more often, and that the majority of women who loses their job due to pregnancy do not end up suing their employers. The case has now been lodged with the federal court, and if successful, both directors of the printing company this woman worked for will face fines of nearly $7,000. I hope this case will make other employers tempted to sack their employees for being pregnant twice about their conduct. The case is not over yet though, and Jiongqui's employer is now denying that they sacked her, claiming that she resigned of her own free will.
The Fair Work Ombudsman is using this opportunity to launch a nation-wide campaign about the rights of pregnant women in the workplace. I hope it has some impact. What do you think about this? Have you ever been sacked for being pregnant, and how did you react? Did you feel scared and uneasy telling your employer about your pregnancy for fear of being dismissed? Or do you stand on the other side of the fence, and think that this employer was justified in sacking a woman who needed to take sick leave due to her pregnancy? Whatever your opinions, we'd love to hear from you!