Top court sides with firm that fired pregnant worker

Ruling states that "[work] contract had been terminated during her probationary period"

The Constitutional Court has ruled against a woman who was fired from her job while she was pregnant.

In a controversial decision released on Tuesday, the court said that the pregnant woman's dismissal is not cause for a lawsuit because her "[work] contract had been terminated during her probationary period."

"Extended protection cannot be provided when it deals with the termination of a contract during a probationary period," said the court, which explained that there are limits in protecting pregnant women under Spanish labor law.

The dismissal took place in 2009 after the woman was hired as a business representative on a six-month contract, which would have automatically been extended for similar periods if she passed the two-month probationary period.

When she signed the contract on June 24 that year, she was already pregnant, although there is no evidence that her employer was aware of this. On August 4, the company informed her that her contract was going to be canceled because she hadn't passed her probation. The woman filed a case against the company alleging that she had been dismissed because of her pregnancy.

"Little protection"

The five judges who dissented argued that pregnant women are protected under the Constitution.

"Protection does not depend on contractual issues," the judges wrote. "This ruling sets a precedent in which little protection is given to a pregnant woman on probation while disregarding her own fundamental rights."

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