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Sex discrimination win after miscarriages

Linzi Close worked at Belfast Audi Limited and was responsible for paperwork involved with the sales of cars. In January 2010 she had her first miscarriage when she was 10 weeks pregnant. Her doctor told her to take three weeks sick leave, but she only took one. On her return to work, she reported that her office manager questioned whether the miscarriage had been genuine, or whether she had just wanted time off. Ms Close also described how her manager had tried to give her advice about diet and exercise. She complained at the time but did not lodge a formal grievance.
Fifteen months later, in April 2011, Ms Close had a second miscarriage and again took a week’s sick leave. Once again, she says that on her return to work, her office manager made comments about her weight and suggested she eat more healthily. In an appraisal meeting shortly afterwards, questions of timekeeping and attendance were raised; Ms Close denied the manager’s claims that he had raised concerns about her performance.
Ms Close discovered she was pregnant again in June 2011, just before her wedding and annual leave. She was unable to return to work until September, due to pregnancy-related illness.
The company decided to terminate her employment when it found some incomplete paperwork to do with car sales. Ms Close claims that the paperwork had not been filled out properly by sales staff. However, the company never investigated the salesmen involved. The employment tribunal found that this amounted to unlawful discrimination against Ms Close, since they were “predisposed to terminate her employment” on discovering the incomplete paperwork, without properly establishing the facts of the matter.
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