A Perth child care centre and its part-owner face fines of up to $45,000 for allegedly discriminating against an employee after she became pregnant.
W.K.O Pty Ltd, which operates the Dinki Di Child Care Centre at Innaloo, and the manager and part-owner Orieta O'Leary, will face Federal Court next month over the alleged discrimination.
The Fair Work Ombudsman alleges that Mrs O'Leary reduced the full-time employee's work hours in 2010 after she became pregnant.
It is also alleged that Mrs O'Leary told the 28-year old woman that she was not entitled to parental leave and had pressured her to resign.
The Ombudsman claims that the while the worker was not sacked, the conduct amounted to a constructive dismissal, partly because the employee was set to take unpaid parental leave.
Discrimination can occur when some-one is dismissed or is threatened with dismissal, denied the opportunity for training or promotion or refused employment, on the grounds of being pregnant.
It can also occur on grounds including sex, race, colour, sexual preference, age, physical or mental disability, marital status, family or carer responsibilities, religion, political opinion, national extraction or social origin.
Mrs O'Leary's conduct, on behalf of W.K.O, allegedly also breached workplace laws that make it unlawful to take action against any employee to prevent them accessing workplace entitlements, such as parental leave.
Mrs O'Leary and W.K.O face maximum penalties per breach of $6600 and $33,000 respectively.The Fair Work Ombudsman is also seeking a court order for W.K.O to pay the employee $5000 compensation for economic and non-economic loss.
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