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‘Forced-to-quit’ mother wins payout for discrimination

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A local mother was awarded HK$20,000 and a written apology from her former employer for discriminating against her pregnancy.

Siu Kam Ying, 31, mother of an eight months old girl said she was mistreated by her boss at logistics company COE International after telling the employer she was pregnant.

Feeling frustrated after the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) refused to follow up on her complaint about the unfair treatment,  she eventually filed her case with the help of the Diocesan Pastoral Centre for Workers.

The case was settled outside of court yesterday after Siu agreed to accept the compensation from Coe. Siu initially filed the case requesting HK$271,000 from her former employer.  

Meeting with the media after the settlement, Siu ripped EOC for not helping her.

“EOC told me they rejected my case because I was forced to leave rather than being fired.  That means loads of cases would not qualify.   The commission’s reluctance might discourage other people in similar situations from coming forward,” she told South China Morning Post.

Siu stressed that she filed the case not to receive money but to stand up for justice.

“The way EOC has handled the case really upsets me.  I will tell my daughter about how I stood up for her when she is older,”  she said.

She added that her husband and mother-in-law supported her but there are also friends and relatives who thought she should not have pursued the case.

The dispute started last July when Siu job told her boss she was pregnant after one month on her job.

She said her boss forced her to quit by giving her a broken chair, increasing her workload and asking colleagues not to speak to her.

The commission said the decision not to step in despite an invitation by the court came after “objective analysis”.

“It is not the most ideal approach for the EOC to step in at every stage,” said the watchdog.

Image: Shutterstock

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