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Refused maternity leave for second pregnancy


Eleni worked for a business consultant. She went on maternity leave but, before she was due to return, she told her employers that she was pregnant again and would only be returning to work for ten weeks. She requested an extension to her maternity leave, but didn't get a response from them straight away. She emailed seven more times asking what was happening, and each time she was told that the manager was waiting on a response from HR. Finally, Eleni was told by her manager to go back to work on the original date and they would sort out her issues then - although no mention was made of her request to extend her maternity leave. Soon after this, she was denied the maternity leave extension. She was told it was because she had not informed them at least six weeks beforehand. However, her email record showed that she told them well over six weeks before.  

Eleni made a complaint of pregnancy discrimination to the Commission. She had not returned to work because she was advised not to by her doctor, due to complications with her pregnancy. The company said she had not told them in time, but they were provided with dated emails supporting Eleni's allegations.

During conciliation, the complaint was settled when the company agreed to give Eleni a positive statement of service, and pay her $9,750 for general damages for hurt feelings.

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