Pregnant women who have been dismissed from their jobs file legal actions

Ombudsman’s Office follows up on some cases; while the Constitutional Court has given the reason to filed actions.

The Ombudsman’s Office is monitoring 10 lawsuits related to the termination of employment of pregnant and lactating women. The objective is that there is no re-victimization or that their rights are violated.

Roberto Veloz, delegate of the Pichincha Ombudsman’s Office, said that these stories are repeated, as well as retaliations.

The official defends a woman who was dismissed from her position as legal manager of the Metropolitan Public Mobility and Public Works Company (Epmmop).

Regarding this case, he explained that a protection action was activated, since not only the mother was affected but the girl.

«The pregnancy was risky and the little girl spent 145 days hospitalized,» he said. But the company, instead, maintained that the position was of free removal.

Protection actions filed by women who feel their rights have been violated are registered in the Constitutional Court.

Only on August 5, there were 20 cases. The Court analyzed the scope of the rights of 20 pregnant or breastfeeding women and established actions for the Health, Labor and Inclusion Portfolios and for the Gender Equality Council.

The Ministry of Health is responsible for promoting breastfeeding in companies, with the adaptation of safe spaces for milk extraction, and the four entities have to develop the Model of Work Environments for Care and guarantee the right to protection.

Cristina Espinoza, 39, is one of the women in that group who hopes that the Constitutional Court ruling will be fully carried out. She worked in a municipality, where she was the financial director.

On May 4, 2018, she notified the authorities about her pregnancy and 10 days later she was fired.

After she filed a protection action, she was reinstated, but they placed her elsewhere to relegate her.

In Ecuador, the Labor Code mentions that every employee has the right to paid leave of 12 weeks for the birth of her child.

The regulations also speak of the protection of pregnant women, which is why the termination of their contracts for this reason or permanently replacing them within the mentioned period is prohibited.

In turn, the International Labor Organization (ILO) recognizes the mother’s right to a period of rest after giving birth; as well as the guarantee of sufficient means for their maintenance and their reinstatement at the end of their license

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