Employee sues after being sacked while on sick leave due to miscarriage
An former employee of the Swiss bank J. Safra Sarasin is suing the company — this after she was fired while technically on sick leave due to a miscarriage.
Olivia Marie Coleman had joined the bank’s Hong Kong branch as a director/vice-president in July 2016. She became pregnant in February 2017, and informed her supervisor, Feroze Sukh.
According to the South China Morning Post, Sukh advised her not to speak to HR, as Coleman was still in her probationary period, and also because another team-mate was already pregnant.
He allegedly said that having two pregnant colleagues would reflect poorly on their team.
Coleman later learned that she miscarried, and was subsequently hospitalised due to complications. Though she was ordered to rest, Sukh expressed that she would have to come back to work.
When Coleman was hospitalised again, due to continuing complications, she feared taking more sick leave, and soon returned to work.
Two days later, she was fired – even though she was technically still on sick leave.
Coleman now is seeking some US$174,000 in the lawsuit, along with an apology, and a court order for the company to train senior executives against discriminatory employment practices.
The first hearing for the court case will take place on May 22.
Sukh reportedly joined the bank in early 2016, after a stint at ABN AMRO Private Wealth Management, Hong Kong. There, he was apparently awarded “Best Team Manager” in North Asia for 2014.