A Delhi court has awarded over Rs two lakh compensation to a woman who claimed she was sacked by a private firm after she demanded maternity leave of three months on full pay basis.
Holding that the complainant Ritu Verma and her child had suffered physical and mental agony due to the "illegal" termination of her employment, additional district judge Inder Jeet Singh ordered Ebaco India Private Limited to pay a total amount of Rs 2.12 lakh as compensation to her.
The compensation awarded by the court included Rs one lakh as damages for the stress and agony suffered, another one lakh as four months salary and the remaining sum was given as the amount coming under provident fund.
"The termination of employment is illegal, arbitrary and void in the eyes of law. The services of employment has been terminated to avoid maternity benefits to the plaintiff.
"The arbitrary and illegal decision of termination of services of plaintiff, has been forced upon the plaintiff when she was at final stage of her pregnancy, she was harassed, suffered ample physical and mental stress and agony, which has also been suffered by her child," the judge said.
Verma had told the court that she was working with the company since March, 2008 and her salary had been hiked from Rs 13,000 to Rs 25,000 in two years after regular appraisals.
During the trial, she alleged that on April 1, 2011, she had reminded the chief executive officer(CEO) of the company, via e-mail, of an earlier request sent by her for a three months maternity leave on full pay basis from May 1, 2011 to July 31, 2011.
She alleged that she did not receive any reply to her e-mail from the company but on April 8, 2011 she received an e-mail sent by the CEO of company terminating her employment.
Verma told the judge that on April 29, 2011 she received another email from the company informing her that the decision to terminate her employment was taken six months prior to the actual termination of her employment.
The court gave the compensation order after summons issued by it to Ebaco Private Limited were refused by the company officials.