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26 Oct 2014

Japan: Supreme Court rules against demotion of hospital worker on account of pregnancy

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In a ground breaking ruling against pregnancy discrimination, the Japanese Supreme Court has nullified a lower court ruling regarding the case of a hospital worker who claimed she had been demoted due to her pregnancy. Under the Japanese Equal Employment Opportunity Act, employers are obligated to assign pregnant employees to less demanding jobs if they so wish, and are prohibited from maltreatment solely based on such requests. Nevertheless, both the court of first instance and the appeals court had ruled against the worker, accepting the argument of the hospital that the plaintiff had agreed to the demotion. The case will now be re-examined by the appeals court, and the plaintiff is widely expected to win.