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Virgin Blue in Maurice Blackburn's sights

Virgin Blue in Maurice Blackburn's sights

Maurice Blackburn has this week announced it will commence Federal Court action later this month against Virgin Blue after two women claimed they were discriminated against.The proposed action…

Maurice Blackburn has this week announced it will commence Federal Court action later this month against Virgin Blue after two women claimed they were discriminated against.

The proposed action claims that two former Virgin Blue public relations executives were forced to take redundancies after confirming that they were pregnant or returning from maternity leave.

"These two women had a right to exercise their parental leave rights without one parent suddenly being out of a job," said Maurice Blackburn principal lawyer Terri Butler.

"My clients' skills, extensive experience and good performance remained relevant to Virgin Blue. They were discriminated against for being pregnant and on maternity leave."

The two women shared 16 years of service with Virgin Blue, working as part of the airline's eight-person public relations team. Both women worked within that team until mid-2010 when they were "given a forced redundancy".

Butler said both women had received positive performance appraisals during their time at the company and that the airline failed to follow its own redundancy policy, which requires the company to speak with the affected employee prior to making a redundancy decision.

A Fair Work Australia mediation conference held between the parties on 3 February 2011 failed to satisfactorily resolve the claims.

Documents are due to be filed with the Federal Court later this month.

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