Politician defends choice to fire pregnant woman

By Lin Shu-hui and Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter, with Staff writer

Sun, Nov 25, 2012 - Page 3

The director of the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) New Taipei City (新北市) headquarters, Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政), yesterday defended his decision to lay off a six-month pregnant member of staff last month, due to what he said was her poor work performance.

“After my commencement as the party’s New Taipei City (新北市) headquarters director in June, I announced to party staff that they would all be given a three-month probation. The female staff member was laid off purely because of her unsatisfactory job performance at the party-initiated ‘green store’ project,” Lo said, adding the dismissal had nothing to do with the woman’s pregnancy.

The case came to light after the laid-off woman, surnamed Yang (楊), filed a petition against her redundancy with former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), saying she was dismissed from her job without due cause after a decade of dedication to the party’s headquarters in New Taipei City.

“Lo made the decision without any prior consultations with the party’s personnel evaluation committee and it cost me my two-month maternity leave and the maternity benefits allocated by the Bureau of Labor Insurance,” Yang said in the petition.

Accusing Lo of discriminating against pregnant women and violating the Act of Gender Equality in Employment (性別工作平等法), Yang said she decided to address the petition to Tsai since the former DPP chairperson was the one who recommended Lo to run for the directorial post.