Pregnant worker victimised, awarded $9,000

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Pregnant worker victimised, awarded $9,000

A Queensland employer has been ordered to pay a pregnant worker $9,000 in damages for advising her that she could not continue to work for the company if she was unwilling to work a 12-hour day.

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A Queensland employer has been ordered to pay a pregnant worker $9,000 in damages for advising her that she could not continue to work for the company if she was unwilling to work a 12-hour day.

Employed by Jon Le Court hair salons in Brisbane for two years, the apprentice hairdresser sought to work an eight-hour day on Thursdays after finding out she was pregnant.

She resigned when she was told, because of her unwillingness to work a 12-hour Thursday at the Garden City salon, she would have to become a 'floater' working in different locations around Brisbane.

Worker chastised

The worker made a written complaint to the Anti-Discrimination Commission, on the grounds she had been discriminated against because of her pregnancy.

The second year apprentice submitted that she had been a good employee and got along with her managers but 'everything changed' after she became pregnant. She said she was directed to do 'menial tasks' such as clean the bathroom and was 'chastised' for eating and was told she was lazy.

Guilty of pregnancy discrimination

Member David Boddice, of the Queensland Discrimination Tribunal, found the worker's account of her employer's conduct after she fell pregnant truthful and accurate.

He ruled that two of her manager's were guilty of direct discrimination, with the company found vicariously liable for allowing the conduct to occur.

The worker was awarded $9,257 in damages.

Banks v Zivanovic, Anderson & Jon Le Court Pty Ltd [2006] QADT 43 (13 December 2006)

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