TURKEY

Istanbul woman awarded compensation after dismissal for being pregnant

A court in Turkey has ordered an employer to pay financial compensation after allegedly firing a woman citing to “low performance stemming from her pregnancy.”
Istanbul woman awarded compensation after dismissal for being pregnant

The woman said her contract was terminated on the day she notified her employer, which remained anonymous in media reports, about her pregnancy and thus applied for her legal rights arising from unfair dismissal. She said the employer did not even ask for her defense statement, which is required by Turkish labor law.

The employer rejected that the pregnancy was the reason for the woman’s dismissal, claiming that she was fired for “acting improperly in the workplace,” including shouting at the general manager of the company.

The employer also said the woman was warned multiple times but failed to fulfill tasks agreed in the contract.

After the court ruled in favor of the employer in the initial case, the woman’s lawyer took the case to Turkey’s Court of Cassation (Yargıtay). The higher court ruled that there was a lack of proof in the employer’s justification that the woman “acted improperly in the workplace,” while witnesses also said the woman did not insult or shout at her general manager.

The Court of Cassation therefore ruled that the termination of the contract is null and void and the employer is obliged to pay financial compensation amounting to four gross salaries if it does not hire the woman again.

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