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Friday, October 30, 2009

Pregnant Woman Wins Court Battle

FEMINISM/HEALTH - In 2008 Ontario woman Jessica Maciel was 20 years old, single and was accidentally pregnant. She chose to keep it. A year later she has a bouncing baby boy.

What she wasn't expecting was to be fired over it. The Nino D'Arena beauty salon in Mississauga apparently didn't want a pregnant woman working in their salon.

Two days ago on Wednesday the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario awarded Maciel $35,000 is damages and lost wages, to be paid for by the salon. The Nino D'Arena salon has also been ordered to implement a policy that will protect women in the future from being fired over a pregnancy.

Maciel was already 4 months pregnant when she first started working at the salon in August 2008. There is no requirement under the Ontario's Human Rights Code to advise possible employers about a pregnancy.

After telling her boss Cinzia Conforti about the pregnancy however she was asked 15 minutes later to leave. It was blatant discrimination.

The court decision to punish the salon and award Maciel "really sends the message that excluding new mothers from the workplace is not an option for employers," says Maciel's lawyer Kate Sellars. Ontario's Human Rights Legal Support Centre receives about 40 calls / week from women facing discrimination.

Other legal support groups are out there all across Canada and the United States. You just have to look for them. Here is the links for other non-Ontario groups.

Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commissions
British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal
British Columbia Human Rights Coalition
Canadian Human Rights Commission
Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies
Manitoba Human Rights Commission
New Brunswick Human Rights Commission
Newfoundland Human Rights Commission
Northwest Territories Human Rights Commission
Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission
Prince Edward Island Human Rights Commission
Quebec – Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse
Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission
Yukon Human Rights Commission

Word to the Wise: Don't trample on people's Human Rights, because they can sue you and win.

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