€56,315 award for MBNA pregnancy discrimination

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mrs Posts: 673
Just see this in paper now: 56,315 award for MBNA pregnancy discrimination In this section » WOMAN who claimed she was passed over for promotion and discriminated against when she become pregnant has been awarded more than € 56,000 by the Equality Tribunal. Heather Lane (35), Croghan, Co Roscommon, a mother of two, took a case against her former employer, MBNA based in Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim. The Equality Authority welcomed the decision, describing pregnancy-related discrimination as a "very blunt, overt form of discrimination". Equality Authority chief executive officer Niall Crowley said it received about 300 complaints of pregnancy-related discrimination every year but they amounted to the "tip of the iceberg", given the number of women who do not complain. "We have cases of women not getting promotion or of finding a deteriorating position in the workplace. Other cases relate to women being made redundant or their positions finished or squeezed out of their job," Mr Crowley said. "It is an area that has been legislated for over the last 30 years and we should be seeing a reduction in cases like this, but we're not." Ms Lane was awarded €56,315, believed to be the highest paid to date in Ireland for a case like hers. She joined MBNA, one of the world's biggest credit-card companies, in October 2001. She claimed that before she went on maternity leave for her first child in October 2003, she had discussed promotion with her manager. By the time she returned, six months later, she was transferred to a new job without a desk or a phone. The company did not pay her pension entitlements for the time she was off, although this was later rectified. She later went for promotion, but was passed over in favour of a candidate who was a single woman with no children and had no relevant qualifications. She was refused an appraisal on several occasions and when she eventually received an appraisal, the critical points were inconsistent with her monthly reviews. In May 2005, Ms Lane told the MBNA human resources manager that she felt discriminated against and filed a complaint with the Equality Authority in July 2006. She was made redundant last year, but her redundancy payments were nearly halved, from €13,006 to €6,690.16, when she refused to withdraw her complaint against the company. Equality Tribunal officer Hugh Lonsdale held that she had been discriminated against because of the "poor conditions of employment" on her return from maternity leave, the grade reviews that were put off and the difficulties she had with appraisals which damaged her opportunity for promotion and for regrading. Ms Lane said she hoped that her case would set an example for women in a similar position and also act as a warning to companies. "Having a child is supposed to be a fantastic time, but, for me, it wasn't, when I returned from my first maternity leave to find my job was gone," she said. "It is not a nice thing to have to go through . . I have always known myself in my heart and soul what the truth was, but to have an independent body verify this, it means that a just decision has been made. It is wonderful." © 2008 The Irish Times
aston Posts: 4100
Think she was right to follow through with the claim even when they threatened to cut her redundancy! Fairplay to her. Hope she can relax and enjoy time with her children now.
july7812 Posts: 1787
Was delighted to hear this yesterday on the news - fair play to the lady. I was also discriminated against when I was having DS2 (2004) & was not let go for promotion in my job. I also took a case against my employer & after mediation & going to a full hearing it was actually settled on the steps of the Equality Tribunal. I got my promotion & my employer didn't have the hassel of being named & shamed. I wasn't interested in a monetary settlement, I just wanted my promotion so was happy with how it went :-8 Also as part of the settlement it was insisted that they (my employer) had to put in a proper procedure for dealing with pregnant women going for promotion so that it wouldn't happen again in our job. It really is a disgrace though in this day & age how pregnant women get treated though in their jobs O:| >:o(