Court: Rights of pregnant women strengthened

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State Labor Court: Pregnant pregnancy representative does not have to say that she is pregnant

In a ruling, the regional labor court in Cologne strengthened the rights of a pregnant employee who had taken on a temporary position as a pregnancy representative. The applicant had not informed the employer of her pregnancy prior to signing the employment contract. Only when the employment contract was signed did the person concerned inform the boss. The worker was then dismissed.

The regional labor court in Cologne ruled: There are no exceptions for temporary contracts for pregnant women. A woman who takes on a temporary job as a proxy does not have to say in advance that she herself is pregnant. The labor judges based the judgment on the anti-discrimination law. Accordingly, pregnancy must not in principle lead to gender disadvantage. "A pregnant woman therefore does not need to reveal an existing pregnancy either on her own initiative or in response to relevant questions before the employment contract is concluded," said the judges. "The question of pregnancy is generally assessed as an immediate disadvantage because of gender in the sense of § 3 paragraph 1 sentence 2 AGG."

A temporary employment contract is no exception. In the case being negotiated, a challenge to the employment contract by the employer due to an alleged deception was not effective. "A pregnant woman therefore does not have to reveal an existing pregnancy either on her own initiative or upon a corresponding question before the employment contract is concluded." According to the case law of the European Court of Justice (judgment of 4 October 2001 - C-109/00), this also applies , if only a fixed-term employment contract is to be established and the applicant cannot work for a substantial part of the contract period.

The case of a paralegal was negotiated. The mother-to-be was released by a law firm in January 2012 due to a "malicious deception". The employee brought an action against the contestation of the employment contract and was able to prevail in the first instance before the labor court.

However, it remained open whether an exception would be made in cases of a permanent ban on employment due to pregnancy. There was no such prohibition in the specific case. The plaintiff had worked for the employer until the challenge and was not subject to a ban on employment. (State Labor Court Cologne, file number: 6 Sa 641/12)

Image: Templermeister,

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