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    Two women sacked for being pregnant

    By Sola Ogundipe, with agency report

    It sounds incredible, but it’s true. Two mothers, Sarah Poppy, 29, and
    Nona Stanley, 36, who claim they were sacked while on maternity leave
    are suing their former employers for unlawful discrimination and
    sexual harassment.

    They have file a law suit in the Federal Court in Adelaide alleging
    their employer –  South  Service to Youth Council – discriminated
    against them on the basis of their “sex, pregnancy and family
    responsibilities”.

    In court documents, Poppy says she worked with the council from June
    2006 and was promoted to marketing manager on $60,000 a year before
    she fell pregnant with son Hudson in 2009 and told work she would take
    maternity leave.

    In her claim, she alleges that after this request she was moved from
    her office to a “common work area” and was told to no longer attend
    management meetings.

    She claims she was informed her position was redundant in June 2010
    while on maternity leave.

    She also alleges that her work duties were undertaken by another
    employee during her maternity leave and after Ms Poppy was made
    redundant.

    Stanley, on her part, says she was employed from November 2009 in the
    council’s property department and took maternity leave on September
    19, 2011, after the birth of her daughter Olivia.

    Five months later, while still on maternity leave, she was told “her
    position was redundant” and there were no other positions available in
    her department, she alleges.

    The pair, whose case is being funded by the Federal Attorney-General’s
    Department, also claim they were subjected to comments of a sexual
    nature which “offended, humiliated and intimidated” them.

    The women are seeking an apology and compensation for loss of income,
    leave, chance of promotion, “hurt and humiliation” and legal costs.

    In a statement, the SYC said it “strongly refutes the allegations”
    brought against it “relating to alleged breaches of the Sex
    Discrimination Act 1984 and the Fair Work Act 2009” and will fight the
    claims in court.

    On its website the council describes itself as a “community
    organisation centred on employment, training and youth services”.

    Latest figures show the state Equal Opportunities Commission has
    received more than 100 complaints this financial year from employees
    about sexual harassment, caring responsibilities and pregnancy.


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