The Taiwan Foundation for Democracy (TFD) has been urged to abide by several rulings in favor of a male employee in a case in which the government-affiliated institution was charged with violating the Gender Equality in Employment Act (性別工作平等法).
Entangled in the lawsuit with the TFD for more than two years, Bo Tedards, a TDF researcher, said he has felt too “helpless” to do anything about it.
“It’s supposed to be simple, but I don’t understand why I have to wait for so long and still cannot be reinstated,” Tedards told a press conference organized by Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Legislator Wu Yi-chen (吳宜臻) yesterday.
Previously the head of the TFD’s International Cooperation Department, Tedards was relieved of his duties after he returned from eight months of parental leave in January 2011.
As well as being demoted, Tedards’ monthly salary was slashed by NT$10,000 and his workload was reduced by 90 percent, a situation Taiwan Woman’s Link chairwoman Huang Sue-ying (黃淑英) said were “attempts of a firm to force its employees to resign voluntarily.”
Earlier this week, the TFD appealed against the civil ruling by the Taipei District Court on May 10 which said that the demotion was unlawful and demanded that Tedards be returned to his previous position, his salary be restored and that NT$160,000 (US$5,323) which was deducted from his salary during the period be repaid.
The ruling by the court was one of several rulings against the TFD over the case.
On May 24, the court handed down a ruling in an administrative lawsuit brought by the TFD against the Taipei City Government over a decision made by its Department of Labor in August 2011 that the decision to demote Tedards was “gender-based discrimination” and was in violation of Article 21 of the Gender Equality in Employment Act.
The TFD filed an administrative lawsuit against the Taipei City Government after the Cabinet’s Council of Labor Affairs decided in January last year to uphold the decision by the Taipei government and dismiss the TFD’s complaint.
At the press conference, Wu, Huang, attorney-at-law Liu Chia Yi (劉嘉怡) and Hung Ching-shu (洪敬舒) from the Taiwan Labor Front threw their support behind Tedards and condemned the TFD for its repeated refusal to abide by the rulings.
They also called on the TFD to admit to removing Tedards from his previous position.
As a government-affiliated organization, which receives a NT$1 billion annual public fund to promote democracy and human rights, the TFD “did exactly the opposite” in this case, Huang said.
By defying the rulings, the TFD has not only wasted public money in the lawsuits and tormented the victim mentally and spiritually, but also acted in a way that goes against the government’s policy of promoting parental leave to encourage childbearing at a time when the nation’s low birth rate is a major problem, she said.