Zelinda Doria’s daughter is now 3½ years old, and it is yet to be decided where Doria’s complaint should be heard.
The Human Rights Review Tribunal says it will hear Doria’s claim but the employer says it’s a case about parental leave and it should go to the Employment Relations Authority.
Seven weeks pregnant and told to take parental leave, court hears
Doria, then 21, was told to take parental leave when she was just seven weeks pregnant, but she and her former employer disagree about the circumstances.
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She said she was discriminated against and complained to the Human Rights Commission, leading to a claim being lodged to the Human Rights Review Tribunal.
However, Diamond Laser Medispa Taupō Ltd, manager Olivia Blakeney-Williams and director Richard Blakeney-Williams say the Human Rights Review Tribunal has no power to deal with the complaint. They say it should go to the Employment Relations Authority.
Their lawyer, Giles Brant, told the Court of Appeal in Wellington on Wednesday that the issue was not within the human rights law definition of discrimination.
The director of human rights proceedings has taken up Doria’s case. One of her lawyers, Ella Tait, said that a complainant could choose where to make her complaint.
The decision whether to go to the Employment Relations Authority or the Human Rights Review Tribunal had practical implications for the time frames for making the complaint and what result was sought, Tait said.
Doria wanted damages on several grounds.
She also wanted a declaration that she was discriminated against and she could not get that from the Employment Relations Authority. She also wanted the Blakeney-Williams to undertake human rights training at their own expense.
Medispa and the Blakeney-Williams protested the tribunal’s right to hear the complaint, but the tribunal refused to strike out Doria’s claim.
When that failed they went to the High Court, but lost there also.
They appealed against the decision to allow the complaint to continue before the tribunal.
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