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Reports over bosses mistreating pregnant staff on the rise

THE STAR. Thursday October 21, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR: There has been an increase in the number of reports from women workers who claim their employers discriminate against those who are pregnant.
Among complaints normally given by employers is that pregnant women under-perform in their duties.
MCA public services and complaints bureau head Datuk Michael Chong said he has received six complaints from women who alleged their bosses gave them a hard time, leading them to resign from their jobs.
Citing an example, Chong said one woman complained that her employer always nagged her for going to the toilet so often.
“She had to explain that she could not avoid it as she was pregnant,” he said, adding that the complainant also alleged she was put in “cold storage” by not being assigned the tasks she usually did before her pregnancy.
“Unable to take it any more, she resigned from her job,” Chong told a press conference here yesterday.
He said it was traumatic for pregnant women, who had worked to support their husband or family, to eventually lose their source of income.
“The department is contemplating legal action against employers who harass pregnant women under their payroll,” he said, adding that among those who had lodged complaints with his department were women who were still under probation at the work place.Others had worked for two or more years with their employers.
Chong said he was worried that with the extension of maternity leave to 90 days for working mothers, there would be an increase of such victimisation.

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