Is a failure to conduct an appropriate risk assessment for a breastfeeding employee sex discrimination?
Yes, according to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) with regards to the case of Otero Ramos v Servicio Galego de Saude.
The Claimant was employed as a nurse in the hospital’s accident and emergency unit. Her employer’s risk assessment for her as a breastfeeding worker had concluded that her work was ‘risk-free’, so her request for an adjustment in her working pattern on account of breastfeeding was declined. She therefore claimed sex discrimination.
This case was held by the CJEU after the Claimant alleged that the risk assessment did not comply with the requirements of EU Directive 92/85/EEC. This EU Directive covers measures to improve health and safety for pregnant and breastfeeding workers, therefore Otero Ramos was found in breach of the Equal Treatment Directive.
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