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Old 14.06.2011, 23:46
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Pregnancy and a bad employer

Hi,

I have a question regarding my wife who is pregnant. In March my wife's full-time employment contract was terminated, a few days later she found out she was pregnant and discussed this with her employer who accepted she would remain employed after this. My wife is pregnant with twins and has been feeling very ill so her doctor gave her 50% sick leave for a couple of months.

Occasionally my wife will come home upset and distressed because her boss is trying his best to make it uncomfortable for her to work in the hope that she will leave of her own accord rather than continue on. He says she is not ill and that he knows plenty of women who have worked through pregnancy with twins and that she is not really feeling sick at all. Basically he's trying his hardest to demoralise her. This is getting very difficult and I am worried it will affect my wife and her pregnancy, I'm not sure exactly what we can do about this. It is also worth noting that this employer has a very high turnover of mainly foreign staff and other staff have taken sick leave due to stress from him.

I have suggested that my wife should take him to court as it is no longer an option for her to stay in this job. She doesn't want the stress of going to court against him and doesn't think she will have a chance to win and worries that we will have to pay the court costs if we lose.

Does anyone (hopefully not) have any experience with this or have any advice.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
A.
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Old 15.06.2011, 00:05
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Re: Pregnancy and a bad employer

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Hi,

I have a question regarding my wife who is pregnant. In March my wife's full-time employment contract was terminated, a few days later she found out she was pregnant and discussed this with her employer who accepted she would remain employed after this. My wife is pregnant with twins and has been feeling very ill so her doctor gave her 50% sick leave for a couple of months.

Occasionally my wife will come home upset and distressed because her boss is trying his best to make it uncomfortable for her to work in the hope that she will leave of her own accord rather than continue on. He says she is not ill and that he knows plenty of women who have worked through pregnancy with twins and that she is not really feeling sick at all. Basically he's trying his hardest to demoralise her. This is getting very difficult and I am worried it will affect my wife and her pregnancy, I'm not sure exactly what we can do about this. It is also worth noting that this employer has a very high turnover of mainly foreign staff and other staff have taken sick leave due to stress from him.

I have suggested that my wife should take him to court as it is no longer an option for her to stay in this job. She doesn't want the stress of going to court against him and doesn't think she will have a chance to win and worries that we will have to pay the court costs if we lose.

Does anyone (hopefully not) have any experience with this or have any advice.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
A.
It's not like the US, taking him to court will not achieve anything, it won't cost you anything either!
Either party can end the contract giving the reqired notice period, however your wife has to be working & not ill or the notice period extends.
It would be best if your wife could find a new job and move on.
Good Luck
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Old 15.06.2011, 00:14
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Re: Pregnancy and a bad employer

If she found out she was pregnant after termination, then nothing to do.

Tom
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Old 15.06.2011, 00:14
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Re: Pregnancy and a bad employer

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It's not like the US, taking him to court will not achieve anything, it won't cost you anything either!
Either party can end the contract giving the reqired notice period, however your wife has to be working & not ill or the notice period extends.
It would be best if your wife could find a new job and move on.
Good Luck
Did you read the first post? His wife is pregnant. Her notice period is currently suspended until she returns from her maternity leave. Looking for a new job is probably the last thing on her mind.

I cannot help with how to deal with the boss, though if he has a superior then a complaint about his behaviour may be a good place to start. Just want to wish your wife the best though, I suffered terribly from morning sickness and I know how debilitating it can be, I understand it can be much worse with twins sometimes too. It did get better at around 16-18 weeks in though, so hopefully she will improve soon.
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Old 15.06.2011, 00:15
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Re: Pregnancy and a bad employer

Your wife should speak to her doctor about the stress she is under at work. If her doctor feels she warrants it, she may be booked off 100% until the birth of the twins.
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Old 15.06.2011, 00:19
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Re: Pregnancy and a bad employer

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.
It would be best if your wife could find a new job and move on.
Good Luck
I disagree. It sounds as if this woman is being bulliied. Of course, giving in to the bully and resigning is exactly what the employer may be wanting and it may be that a pregnant woman may not have the energy to do anything else at this stage. However, surely there are laws in Switzerland, that offer protection to the employee in these cases. Is there an HR department to ask? A lawyer?

Also, what are the laws in regards to pregnant women? Is there a point where a female employee can go on maternity leave, and her job is safeguarded for her for x period after the birth(s)?

Sure, there are women who carry twins ( or more) and have no problems. BUt there are aslo those whose bodies react differently, causing tiredness and nausea throughout the pregnancy - not to mention all the other conditions that can also make it a very uncomfortable time for some, through no fault of their own ( noone WANTS to be feel sick or in pain during pregnancy.)

I hope your wife's discomfort decreases, and wish you both well with your babies, and with dealing with her employer. Kia kaha.
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Old 15.06.2011, 00:22
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Re: Pregnancy and a bad employer

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Also, what are the laws in regards to pregnant women? Is there a point where a female employee can go on maternity leave, and her job is safeguarded for her for x period after the birth(s)?
Yes, my understanding (non-expert) is that if a woman is pregnant her notice period is suspended until after she returns from maternity leave, and that this applies even if she did not know she was pregnant when the notice was given.
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Old 15.06.2011, 00:27
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Re: Pregnancy and a bad employer

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Did you read the first post? His wife is pregnant. Her notice period is currently suspended until she returns from her maternity leave. Looking for a new job is probably the last thing on her mind.

I cannot help with how to deal with the boss, though if he has a superior then a complaint about his behaviour may be a good place to start. Just want to wish your wife the best though, I suffered terribly from morning sickness and I know how debilitating it can be, I understand it can be much worse with twins sometimes too. It did get better at around 16-18 weeks in though, so hopefully she will improve soon.
Yes I did read the first post, unfortnately many Swiss employers are not very nice & there is nothing one can realisticly do execpt move on. There are no massive payouts here, unless they don't pay the salary there is little help you can get from the court.
It is possible to leave without giving notice however the employer can claim compensation, so it need's to be negociated.
As I said earlier, good luck to the OP & I hope she feels better soon.
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Old 15.06.2011, 00:32
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Re: Pregnancy and a bad employer

I would second what Meisie said. Get the doctor to book her off 100% for as long as possible. Then your wife needs to find a new job.
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Old 15.06.2011, 00:33
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Re: Pregnancy and a bad employer

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I disagree. It sounds as if this woman is being bulliied. Of course, giving in to the bully and resigning is exactly what the employer may be wanting and it may be that a pregnant woman may not have the energy to do anything else at this stage. However, surely there are laws in Switzerland, that offer protection to the employee in these cases. Is there an HR department to ask? A lawyer?
Hi,

The woman is being bullied, no doubt about that.
The law states that she may not be given notice during the pregnancy, once she returns then notice can be given.
Salaries are generally high in CH, however employee protection is almost non existant.
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Old 15.06.2011, 01:10
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Re: Pregnancy and a bad employer

Employee protection exists, if one is in the unions. They might advise her despite of her not being involved in them. I would contact her OB/GYN to get on 100%, her GP might also help with this, and I would advise her to talk to her colleagues about unions, or, go to speak to her Commune as well.
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Old 15.06.2011, 10:03
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Re: Pregnancy and a bad employer

Thanks Meisie, I think we will look into 100% leave as you suggested.

Hey, how do I "thank" a user? I can't seem to find any button for that...
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Old 15.06.2011, 10:04
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Re: Pregnancy and a bad employer

Hi there,

to find out about Employee protection during pregnancy here in Switzerland it is actually quite simpler than immediately going to a lawyer or joining the union. ;-) This information is available at the seco and held in english. Here is a link to a pdf you can download - http://www.seco.admin.ch/dokumentati...x.html?lang=en

SECO – Labour Directorate, Bern.
Lots of information from a legal point of view can be searched by starting from www.admin.ch (English version)

Out of some experience and being swiss, I would second flatman's viewpoint/advice until now. I also believe termination of the contract will only be suspended for as long as your wife is on maternity leave. It's advisable too, that she'll talk to HR of her company if she should feel bullied. And I would make sure, that the end of contract notice she receives or has received was in written form.
Best of luck for you and your family.
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Old 15.06.2011, 10:37
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Re: Pregnancy and a bad employer

There is protection for women's rights in the workplace during pregnancy and the booklet mentioned above is very comprehensive.

I'm 24 weeks pregnant and also having some issues with my boss; when I mentioned this to my OBGYN she gave me the contact details of the Graubünden pregnancy support service. It's a free service and you can speak to a social worker who can clarify your rights and also, if necessary, refer to a lawyer.

Maybe you can ask your wife's doctor about local services near you. If you can't find anything then I'm sure if you contact the the Graubünden (www.adebar-gr.ch) group they will point you in the right direction- they were a couple of very friendly ladies.

Good luck! I haven't got my situation resolved yet and I know how stressful it can be
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Old 15.06.2011, 13:19
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Re: Pregnancy and a bad employer

Thanks everyone for the support and good information. Unfortunately my wife's boss is the owner of the company, the HR dept. is his wife...

We have the SECO booklet and I've sent them an email, hopefully they can provide us with more advice.

A.
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Old 15.06.2011, 13:36
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Re: Pregnancy and a bad employer

I think your wife's mental peace is very important than anything else now. I am sure with the babies coming soon she is going to forget all this for good, its only temporary. In my humble opinion its better she quits her job and stays home 100%. Why take somebody's tension and spoil your peace of mind at such a happy phase of life? Again ,only the one that wears the shoes knows where it pinches. As a unit , the two of you would know well the reasons why she wants to work still. I think if I were her , I would quit my job , relax and save up energy for the twins.

Her boss certainly needs to be penalised but sometimes its better we stay away from such people than fight with them. Wish the two of you and the babies all good.
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Old 15.06.2011, 14:39
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Re: Pregnancy and a bad employer

As others have said, the notice period is suspended until she comes back to work after maternity leave. This is the law.

Best choice is to get the doctor to give her 100% off.

Some others have suggested that you quit for your peace of mind. I think this is a not bad idea. Pregnancy is difficult enough without the additional stress. Bear in mind that if money is the issue, you will get unemployment benefit (but to a lower extent if you quit), but you will also get some money during the maternity leave.
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Old 03.01.2012, 16:28
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Re: Pregnancy and a bad employer

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As others have said, the notice period is suspended until she comes back to work after maternity leave. This is the law.

Best choice is to get the doctor to give her 100% off.

Some others have suggested that you quit for your peace of mind. I think this is a not bad idea. Pregnancy is difficult enough without the additional stress. Bear in mind that if money is the issue, you will get unemployment benefit (but to a lower extent if you quit), but you will also get some money during the maternity leave.
Hi,

I would like to know some more things....My friend was fired on the last day of her probation period ,(whereas in contract it was clearly mentioned that 7 days for notice in probation) and later week,she came to know that she was pregnant!! What can be done in this situation.
And it was a Permanent contract
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Old 03.01.2012, 16:37
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Re: Termination of contract during pregnancy unknown

Not a lot. During the probation period all bets are off if they want to fire her, the pregnancy has no bearing during this time. As long as the terms of the probabtion period are followed the contract can be legally terminated.
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Old 03.01.2012, 16:37
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Re: Termination of contract during pregnancy unknown

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Hi,

I would like to know some more things....My friend was fired on the last day of her probation period ,(whereas in contract it was clearly mentioned that 7 days for notice in probation) and later week,she came to know that she was pregnant!! What can be done in this situation.
And it was a Permanent contract
Unfortunately nothing, assuming the probation period was a short period of time.
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