Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyers

It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an employee on the basis of pregnancy. Pregnancy discrimination may include refusal of leave requests or failing to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees. This type of conduct is prohibited under the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth) and extends to potential pregnancies. Potential pregnancies usually refer to situations where a woman is found capable of bearing children, has expressed a desire to do so, or is perceived as being likely to do so.

In the case of Sagona v R & C Piccoli Investments Pty Ltd & Ors [2014], FCCA 875 The Federal Circuit Court of Australia dealt with a dispute where the applicant had been employed as a photographer for 12 years. She had advised her employer that she was ten weeks pregnant and would take a period of maternity leave. They held that the applicant was forced to resign because of the course of conduct taken by her employer, including demanding her to work additional hours and refusing to consider both her request to work part-time and working in alternative duties.

If an employer treats a pregnant or potentially pregnant employee less favourably or takes some form of adverse action against them, then they may find themselves liable for contraventions under multiple statutory protections. In the above case, the employer was ordered to pay the applicant $61,000 as a pecuniary penalty, along with compensation totalling to $164,097 for loss suffered, and $10,000 for distress, hurt and humiliation.

Our clients' satisfaction is pivotal to our own success.

  • July 2020

    I wouldn't hesitate to recommend McDonald Murholme. From the initial consultation, right through to the resolution process, the entire team was supportive, knowledgable and approachable and made what can be a difficult situation much easier. Specifically Trent and Alexandra provided a high level of service, and engaged with me in a very personable manner. I am extremely satisfied with the service I received.
  • July 2020

    I couldn't recommend the team from McDonald Murholme more. Mr Sam Nottle was efficient, professional and achieved a wonderful result. If you are questioning whether to go ahead with an employment matter legally, I would urge you to do so. The team at McDonald Murholme made the process easy & reduced all of my anxiety and stress. Thank you again, Mr Nottle & team, I can't express my appreciation enough.
  • June 2020

    I found Arthur Hambas & Katherine Boyles extremely professional & compassionate in my dealings with them. After telling Arthur that I felt the details surrounding my redundancy felt wrong he took on my case & secured me a better payout from my employer. I would not hesitate to recommend Mcdonald Murholme to anyone that has a feeling that something isn't quite right. I greatly appreciate everything you did.
  • May 2020

    Extremely happy with the service received from all the staff members i had to deal with. The lawyer allocated for my case (Michael Kriewaldt) was extremely professional and handled the case very smoothly. Highly recommend their services.
  • May 2020

    I found Arthur Hambas & Katherine Boyles extremely professional & compassionate in my dealings with them. After telling Arthur that I felt the details surrounding my redundancy felt wrong he took on my case & secured me a better payout from my employer. I would not hesitate to recommend Mcdonald Murholme to anyone that has a feeling that something isn't quite right. I greatly appreciate everything you did.
  • April 2020

    The solicitors at the firm were very prompt and actioned my complaint against my employer very quickly. I obtained the result I wanted, in fact, I got a better result than what I had originally asked for. I was very pleased with the results and would highly recommend McDonald Murholme.
  • March 2020

    I would like to say that McDonald Murholme have treated me with nothing but professionalism and also great service. Trent, a principal in the firm is attentive to your needs and will ensure your case is handled with care and mindful consideration to all parameters involved.

Discrimination against you because of your pregnancy?

Speak to a lawyer who has acted for thousands of employees like you.

Workplace pregnancy discrimination FAQs

Pregnancy and parental discrimination at work is unlawful under the Sex Discrimination Act 1984, Fair Work Act 2009 and most state laws. Browse through the most commonly asked questions about pregnancy discrimination in the workplace below.

What are my rights if a prospective employee discriminates against me because I am pregnant?

It is unlawful for a prospective employer to discriminate against you when you apply for a job because you are pregnant. This includes asking if you are pregnant and then refusing to hire you if you answer yes, and offering you a job on unfavourable terms and conditions because of your pregnancy. If you have been discriminated against during the recruitment process because you are pregnant, you can file a discrimination claim with VEOHRC or AHRC, or a general protections claim with the Fair Work Commission.

Do I have the right to request flexible working arrangements to accommodate my pregnancy and/or parental responsibilities?

Parents of children who are school age or younger have the right to request flexible working arrangements to accommodate their parental responsibilities, provided that they have completed at least 12 months of continuous service with their employer at the time of the request. Flexible working arrangements include changes in hours of work, changes in patterns of work, and changes in location of work.

Am I entitled to return to my pre-parental leave position after taking parental leave?

Under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), employees who take parental leave are entitled to return to their pre-parental leave position or, if the position no longer exists, the nearest available position in terms of status and pay for which they are qualified.

Speak to an employment lawyer who has acted for thousands of employees like you.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.