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The Kerala High Court reinstates a woman who had been fired for taking maternity leave.

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on July 14, 2023, 17:40:59

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India, high  court, health

The Kerala High Court, while hearing a case in which a woman was refused maternity leave, criticized the state for terminating her employment as a counselor at the Women and Child Development Department and directed the order to be set aside.
"Only a woman knows how acutely difficult it is to balance motherhood and her career," Justice Devan Ramachandran said in his decision.
Vandana Sreemedha, a contract Counsellor, filed the petition after being fired for allegedly taking an unlawful vacation. She said in her plea that her request for maternity leave was denied and that to add to her misery, she was fired when she attempted to get the leave.
Sreemedha went on to say that she had sought many authorities with a request for maternity leave but that her efforts had been in vain. Sri B Mohanlal, an advocate, represented the petitioner in the case.
It was also claimed before the Court that the Director of the Department threatened to take action against the District Child Protection Officer for appointing the petitioner "without proper care," implying that he shouldn't have offered her employment solely because she had recently given birth and needed time off to care for her child.
The Single Bench found the entire episode regrettable, emphasizing that such acts erode the confidence and morale of people like the petitioner, who heroically face the hardships of life every day with the steely will to balance their personal and professional lives to the best of their abilities.
The Court left it up to the authorities to make this judgment. The court granted the writ petition and ordered the respondents to restore the petitioner and reconsider her application for leave immediately.

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