Taipei, May 17 (CNA) Employers could be fined heavily for denying pregnant workers leave, the Council of Labor Affairs warned Thursday, after it was reported this week that a bank employee had suffered a miscarriage as a result of not being allowed to take time off.
The fines for such actions could range from NT$20,000 (US$675.84) to NT$300,000, the council said, citing the Act of Gender Equality in Employment.
The act stipulates that pregnant workers are entitled to paid leave before their due date, once a doctor deems that the woman needs rest, the CLA said.
The council issued the warning after a First Bank employee surnamed Wang reported at a press conference Monday that her employer had refused to grant her leave when she became ill in the fifth month of pregnancy.
As a result, Wang said, she suffered internal hemorrhage and lost the baby.
In response, the bank said it was an isolated case which is now under internal investigation.
The CLA said one of its local agencies is also investigating the Wang case.
According to CLA official Chen Hui-min, pregnant workers may take up to one year of sick leave, once a doctor determines this is necessary.
Employers are not permitted to record such leave as absence from work, nor should the worker be given a poor performance evaluation or any other form of penalty, Chen said.
Employers who refuse to grant leave to sick pregnant women can be fined NT$20,000-NT$300,000, Chen reiterated.
(By Zoe Wei and C.J. Lin)