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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

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

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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