KUALA LUMPUR: Zuraida Kamaruddin of PKR has taken issue with the decision by the Shah Alam High Court to reduce by 90 per cent, a sum awarded to Noorfadilla Ahmad Saikin, calling it a “slap on the face” for all women.
“This landmark case should have served as a proper reminder to all employers never to discriminate (against) pregnant women, but what happened was a slap on the face to the victim and all women as the hugely reduced sum simply did not correspond to the damage inflicted (on Noorfadilla),” said the Wanita PKR chief in a statement today.
In 2011, Noorfadilla filed her case in the High Court when her offer for the position of an untrained relief teacher was withdrawn after she revealed she was three months pregnant.
She won the case and the subsequent appeal when the government brought it to the Court of Appeals.
Apart from the RM300,000 for damages that she was awarded earlier, she also received another RM25,000 as compensation for emotional and mental duress and a further RM5,000 for costs together with interests by the Shah Alam High Court registrar.
However, the High Court decision saw the original damages of RM300,000 due to Noorfadilla slashed to RM30,000.
“This bias towards pregnant women in the workforce should not be encouraged and must be curbed at all costs,” said Zuraida, who is also MP for Ampang.
A basic right such as pregnancy should be celebrated and supported by the community and society, and especially the government, not otherwise.”
Zuraida also said she planned to bring up the matter in the coming Parliament sitting, and proposed to amend the labour law to include a ban for prospective employers from requesting any information pertaining to a woman’s pregnancy status, including urine tests or medical check-ups.