Thursday 22 February 2018

Pregnant worker awarded €100,000

Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

A HOTEL worker has been awarded €100,000 after a tribunal found she was victimised and discriminated against after she became pregnant.

Denise Blatt won her case before the Equality Tribunal after she claimed the firm Palmece Ltd, where she worked as a general manager at one of the Comfort Inn hotels since 2004, treated her less favourably and selected her for redundancy because she was pregnant.

The tribunal's equality officer Stephen Bonnlander awarded €50,000 in compensation for discrimination endured and €50,000 for victimisation.

He said the level of awards took into account the fact Ms Blatt's discrimination lasted through two pregnancies, for nearly a year and eight months.

The firm did not attend the hearing and the complainant's evidence went uncontested.

Ms Blatt said she had received pay rises and bonuses due to her performance before she informed the company in January 2006 of her pregnancy.

Shortly after that, Ms Blatt said she received a letter pointing out flaws in her work.

During her pregnancy, she developed high blood pressure which her medical team attributed to stress at work. According to Ms Blatt, she nearly lost her baby due to stress-induced medical problems.

She claimed when the Comfort Inn Parnell Square was transferred to new ownership she was pressurised into accepting redundancy although her position was not redundant.

In another decision, Abbie Fitzgerald was awarded €25,000 after she claimed she was discriminated against by the Health Services Executive after she sought to work past the retirement age of 65-years.

The equality officer found the HSE had not discriminated against the Ms Fitzgerald on age but had on gender grounds.

Ms Fitzgerald was employed since 1980 at a care centre, said she was informed that only in exceptional circumstances, such as difficulties recruiting, were workers allowed to work beyond retirement age.

She claimed two male colleagues were allowed work past retirement age while she was refused. The HSE said the men were employed as a boilerman and in general maintenance.

Irish Independent

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