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Firm sacked woman as she 'might get pregnant'

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Firm sacked woman as she 'might get pregnant'
Photo: DPA
09:09 CEST+02:00
A woman who was sacked after her boss assumed that because she was planning to marry, she was likely to get pregnant, has received nearly €11,000 compensation for discrimination.

The woman's employer withdrew an appeal against an earlier verdict on Wednesday after the Düsseldorf district court said there was little chance they would win.

The beautician had asked her employer for more hours, but the emailed answer she received focused instead on her personal situation, first noting that she had announced she was going to soon marry her boyfriend.

"For a woman of your age it is 'normal' to become pregnant and have children," her boss wrote in the email seen by Bild newspaper. The mail had the subject line, "Career- vs family-planning".

"We celebrate every new person in the world, but must take consideration of our business concerns. We would be happy to embark upon the 're-establishment' of our business in Düsseldorf - but that will obviously not work if you are absent in 2012 due to a pregnancy.

"Please inform me what plans you have - is a pregnancy in 2012 possible or even desired, or can you rule it out for next year? This information is very important for further personnel planning in Düsseldorf."

The 35-year-old woman said she had been verbally promised a full-time job and had thus given up her own cosmetics practice. But the atmosphere had turned unpleasant almost as soon as she had mentioned her plans to marry - and the firm sacked her during conciliation hearings.

Judge Martin Quecke awarded the woman €10,800 in compensation, ruling that the woman's firing was clearly linked to her gender, and that the discrimination against her had been "practically presented on a plate, and with rare clarity."

DPA/The Local/hc

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