Employers can be fined heavily for denying pregnant workers leave, the Council of Labor Affairs warned yesterday, after it was reported this week that a bank employee had suffered a miscarriage as a result of not being allowed to take time off.
The fines for such actions could range from NT$20,000 to NT$300,000, the council said, citing the Act of Gender Equality in Employment (性別平等工作法).
The act stipulates that pregnant workers are entitled to paid leave before their due date, once a doctor deems that the woman needs rest, the council said.
The council issued the warning after a First Bank employee surnamed Wang (王) said at a press conference on Monday that her employer had refused to grant her leave when she became ill in the fifth month of pregnancy.
As a result, Wang said, she suffered internal hemorrhaging and lost the baby.
In response, the bank said it was an isolated case that was being investigated internally.
The council said one of its agencies was also investigating the Wang case.
Council official Chen Hui-min (陳慧敏) said pregnant workers may take up to a year of sick leave, should a doctor determine it is necessary.
Employers are not permitted to record such leave as absence from work, nor should the worker be given a poor performance evaluation or any other form of penalty, Chen said.
Employers who refuse to grant sick leave to pregnant women would be fined, Chen said.