A UK Border Agency inspections officer in the West Midlands is claiming compensation for sex discrimination after she was allegedly banned from visiting workplaces in the region while pregnant on health and safety grounds.
Mother-of-three Raynon Gakhal-Heron appeared before an employment tribunal in Birmingham last week and said: "I was told by management that I could no longer visit firms to find out if they were employing illegal immigrants because I was at risk due to my pregnancy."
She claims her manager told her: "You are pregnant and not allowed out."
She also alleges that she her employers at the UK Border Agency office in Solihull -- where she still works, incidentally -- "victimised" her for challenging the decision.
"I felt that I was no longer considered as a valued employee," she said. "I felt isolated from other staff and I suffered from stress," she added.
Ms Gakhal-Heron, 37, has worked for the UK Border Agency for three years. She claims bosses told her to drop the sex discrimination claim because she had "no chance of success".
Ivan Cartwright, representing the UK Border Agency, has denied liability for sex discrimination. He says the Agency intends to fight the claim.
- Oldbury mum: I was banned over my pregnancy (Birmingham Mail)
- Pregnancy discrimination (Fawcett Society)
- Sex discrimination and equal pay (Findlaw.co.uk)
- Overview of discrimination law (Findlaw.co.uk)
- Employment law centre (Findlaw.co.uk)
- Unscrupulous employers target pregnant women (The Solicitor)
- Employment law news (The Solicitor)
- Employment law Q&A (Community)