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A “magic” statement helped the pregnant employee keep her workplace

The director of one of the village schools in Kherson oblast decided to "lower" the position of a pregnant teacher of the junior high school. The mere interpretation by the lawyer of the consequences of violations of labor laws was enough for the director to give up his unlawful intentions.

Svitlana Danilenko*, a teacher of the junior class, addressed the Office of the Legal Development Network at the Kherson regional organization of the Committee of Voters of Ukraine. She told that she was working in one of the rural schools located on the territory that falls under the jurisdiction of the Kherson City Council.

Svitlana's problem was that she is now pregnant, intending to go on leave in October 2017 in connection with pregnancy and childbirth. The director of the school, having learned that the woman is going to give birth at the time when the educational process is ongoing, decided to transfer her to the position of a methodologist, and from there - to send her to the leave. Such a statement was of concern to Svitlana, so she appealed for free legal aid.

“Of course, our client voluntarily disagreed with such changes, since the position of a methodologist is lower and, accordingly, the salary is also lower. The director replied that her consent was not needed for this, and that he had the right to settle this situation independently", said the lawyer of the Office, Oleksandr Moshnyagul.

The lawyer helped Svitlana Danilenko make a statement addressed to the director requesting to refrain from violating the future rights of the mother and references to the law that declare the woman's right to remain in that workplace. The same rights establish responsibility (including criminal) for the director in case of violation of his employee’s labor rights.

The result of such legal actions did not force itself to wait: the school director changed the line of conduct, the conflict between him and the subordinate was exhausted, and labor legislation was not violated.

*The name is changed for ethical reasons.

P.S. Offices of Legal Development Network are created and work with the financial support of Human Rights and Justice Program Initiative of International Renaissance Foundation. You can learn more about activity of Network, basics and principles of work on Legal Space website.

 The opinion of the International Renaissance Foundation cannot coincide with the point of view of authors of publication.

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