PREGNANCY AND BREASTFEEDING

Jeevankala is preparing to return to her job after taking parental leave and receives a letter from her boss saying that her previous role as team leader of the accounts section has been discontinued. Instead, he offers her a new role as a Payroll Clerk, which has less responsibility and a salary $10,000 lower than her old job.

Jeevankala is being treated unfavourably because she became pregnant and took parental leave. That's discrimination.

When Jeevankala comes back from leave her boss should give Jeevankala her old job back. If her job doesn’t exist anymore, Jeevankala should be offered an available position for which she is qualified, nearest in pay and status to her previous role.

It is against the law to discriminate against you at work because you are pregnant or might get pregnant, have taken parental leave, need to breastfeed or express milk, or because you have children or other people who depend upon you for care.

What does the law say about pregnancy discrimination?

In Victoria it is against the law to discriminate against you at work because you are pregnant or might become pregnant, or because you are breastfeeding or expressing milk.

For example, it’s against the law for an employer to pass you over for a job because they think you might get pregnant and have to take maternity leave, if you are the best person for the position.

When coming back from parental leave, you also have the right to return to your previous role. If that doesn’t exist any more your employer should offer you an available position that you are qualified for nearest in pay and status to the job you had before you went on leave.

Resources

Download free resources about pregnancy and breastfeeding discrimination from the Commission, or visit our webpage about pregnancy and breastfeeding discrimination in the workplace for more information.

Contact us

In some cases there might be an exception. If you want to find out more about discrimination because of pregnancy, breastfeeding, and parental or carer status Contact us