A pregnant charity worker from Glasgow, Scotland, who lost her job after refusing to get an abortion has been awarded for unfair dismissal and sex and pregnancy discrimination. Teri Cumlin was fired from her job at Engage Fundraising after her manager allegedly told the 22-year-old she would lose her job unless she terminated her pregnancy.
Reports say Cumlin, a former team leader with Engage Fundraising, was told by manager, Mark Robertson, “If you want a career then I’d advise you terminate your baby.” Robertson later fired Cumlin two months before she gave birth.
Cumlin, took Engage to an employment tribunal in May and was awarded the equivalent of more than $18,800 last week when the judgment was released, reports Herald Scotland
During the hearing in Glasgow, the young mother of two recounted the events following her telling Robertson of her pregnancy at the end of July. "He said to me 'Do you want to be that girl from Maryhill with babies to different dads?'” Cumlin told the tribunal last month. "I said 'I'm not going to have a termination'.
At the trial, Cumlin explained she had previously had a stillborn. She says when she expressed this to her manager, and told him she would not terminate her pregnancy, Robertson became angry and told her she would eventually lose her job.
“He started shouting in my face, telling me how stupid I was and that they wouldn’t be able to keep me on.” Cumlin recalled. “It was awful.”
Cumlin’s claims against Robertson include: regularly sending her home from work unpaid, telling her to report for shifts later than coworkers so he could publicly criticize her for being late, refusing her requests to stand in the shade when she became ill in hot weather, and further berating her about her pregnancy.
According to Mirror, Cumlin was eventually demoted from her post as team leader due to the pregnancy, and although she complained to the head office about the manager’s behavior, no action was taken. Employment judge Robert Gall ruled her dismissal in December 2014 as an act of discrimination.
"We hope this case highlights to employers this attitude towards pregnant workers cannot be tolerated in the current workplace," said lawyer Agnes Maxwell-Ferguson, who represented Cumlin.
A spokesman for Engage said it was unaware of the tribunal and is now looking to appeal the decision.
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