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26 Oct 2014

Tomohiro Osaki, Japan Times

Japan: Hospital worker scores big legal win over ‘maternity harassment’

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In its first-ever ruling on “maternity harassment,” the Supreme Court on Thursday nullified a lower court’s decision to dismiss a physical therapist’s claim that she was unjustly demoted on account of her pregnancy. ... “The demotion caused a significantly negative impact on the plaintiff, who forfeited not only her managerial post but financial allowances” for which she was previously qualified, presiding Justice Ryuko Sakurai said in the ruling. “Dismissing or similarly maltreating women solely for reasons such as pregnancy, childbirth or taking maternity leave is illegal, and such decisions must be invalidated,” she said. The ruling will force the Hiroshima High Court to re-examine the woman’s claim, and analysts say it is highly likely she will win her case.