September 2012

Compensation for Being Sacked While Pregnant for Shop Worker

The Equality Tribunal has released details of seventeen decisions that they adjudicated on recently, including the case of a female mortgage consultant who was allegedly sacked because she was pregnant.

Claire Keenan filed a claim for unfair dismissal against her former employer Stephen Kehoe trading as Mortgage Cabin after she had informed him that she was pregnant and due to go on maternity leave in July 2008. Ms Keenan claimed that Mr Kehoe had requested her to take a shorter break because of the workload and also to work from home while on leave.

Ms Keenan alleged at the Tribunal hearing that Mr Kehoe had subsequently told her that there was not enough work, and offered her a redundancy cheque provided that she signed a disclaimer releasing him from any further claims arising from the ending of her employment. Ms Keenan refused to sign the release and was promptly sacked from the role.

Mr Kehoe did not attend the Tribunal hearing but stated in a written submission that he had not requested Ms Keenan to take a shorter maternity leave nor work from home as he had employed somebody to provide cover in her absence. The Equality Tribunal ruled in favour of Ms Keenan and, based on her previous 12 months remuneration, made an award of 95,000 Euros.