Amicus Curiae

Public Defender Files Amicus Curiae Brief with Court on Alleged Discrimination in Labour Relations on Grounds of Pregnancy

On May 19, 2021, the Public Defender of Georgia filed an amicus curiae brief with the Tbilisi City Court relating to a suit concerning alleged discrimination on the grounds of pregnancy/sex by the employer.

According to the suit, the employer informed the plaintiff that the labour-legal relations would be terminated between them due to the expiration of the contract. The plaintiff states that by that time she was pregnant and the employer was aware of it.

The amicus curiae brief reviews general standards, including practices identified by international studies: companies avoid letting their employees enjoy maternity leave by not extending the term of contract in a discriminatory manner, or by using other formal reasons; Employers often use fixed-term contracts with women of the relevant age, unlike men.

The document also says that the argument that the employment relationship was terminated due to the expiration of the contract does not unequivocally refute the presumption of discrimination. Therefore, it is important for the court to assess:

  • What led to the signing of a fixed-term contract
  • Whether the dismissed employee had basic functions
  • Whether the position and/or functions of the dismissed person have been maintained
  • What kind of feedback did the employer have with the dismissed person relating to her performance of duties?
  • Overall, how well has it been justified that the ground for refusing to extend the contract with the employee was not her sex?

The amicus curiae brief does not intend to support the position of either party and focuses on the standards of human rights law.

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