A restaurant operator who said a pregnant worker ‘looks disgusting’ is facing court action.
The employer also took shifts off the woman as a result of her pregnancy.
Facing the Federal Circuit Court accused of unlawful pregnancy discrimination is Abdel Wahid Tajeddine, operator of Coco’s restaurant in Perth.
She ‘looks disgusting’
The former waitress told Tajeddine of her pregnancy in April 2017.
In July, Tajeddine allegedly told a supervisor to send the waitress home because she “looks disgusting”, being visibly pregnant.
Furthermore, Tajeddine allegedly directed the supervisor to cancel the waitress’s rostered shifts.
Additionally, he allegedly made references to her pregnancy and appearance and her ability to perform her duties.
The waitress wrote to management expressing concerns about her job, but received no response.
Pregnancy discrimination is unlawful
Industrial advocate Miles Heffernan said pregnancy discrimination is unlawful.
“The Fair Work Act is very clear – employers cannot discriminate against an employee on the basis of pregnancy, race, colour, sex, sexual orientation, parental responsibilities, impairment or marital status,” he said.
“If this restaurant owner is found to have discriminated against his worker, he can expect the court will impose a hefty penalty.
“Additionally, the court will order him to pay compensation to the worker for lost earnings and hurt and humiliation.”
Therefore, Mr Heffernan urges any workers who experience pregnancy discrimination to contact his firm for confidential advice about their options.
Tajeddine faces penalties of up to $12,600 for each contravention, while his company faces penalties of up to $63,000 for each contravention.
The matter is listed in the Federal Circuit Court next month.
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