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The court orders DW to find employment for the journalist fired during maternity leave

10.01.2024, 15:41

The Shevchenkiv District Court of Kyiv city ordered the German media outlet Deutsche Welle to find appropriate employment for a journalist whom they dismissed in the summer of 2023.

The court ruling was issued on November 22, 2023, according to the public organization "Women in Media".

In the judgement, the court notes that the plaintiff was fired during maternity leave.

"The Decree No. 0224 (02.24.2023) granted the plaintiff maternity leave for the period from 03.01.2023 to 06.29.2023; however, the Decree No. 0331 (03.31.2023) dismissed the plaintiff from her position due to the expiration of her employment contract, i.e., the dismissal took place during the plaintiff's pregnancy," the court ruling reads.

The court also partially granted the plaintiff's demands for compensation for lost earnings and moral damages. In particular, DW has to pay 15,000 hryvnias to the plaintiff for professional legal assistance and 1,073.60 hryvnias in court fees.

"The current labor law and court practice show that employees have greater protection than employers. Therefore, going to court in case of an unlawful dismissal will help to restore the violated right and receive fair compensation," commented Oksana Maksymenyuk, the head of the legal department at the Institute for the Development of the Regional Press.

"Women in Media" notes that the case was about Margarita Zakharchuk, who was dismissed from DW. Margarita Zakharchuk herself has not commented on the situation.

As IMI reported, in the spring of 2023 journalist Margarita Zakharchuk claimed that DW fired her during her maternity leave, even though a month before that she had discussed options for further cooperation with the management.

DW explained that Margarita Zakharchuk was dismissed because the temporary project that she worked in based on a fixed term contract ended on March 31, 2023, within the regularly scheduled timeframe.

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