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Maurice Blackburn lodges claims against Virgin Blue

Maurice Blackburn lodges claims against Virgin Blue

Maurice Blackburn has this week lodged claims with the Federal Magistrates Court in Brisbane on behalf of the two former Virgin Blue public relations executives claiming discrimination against…

Maurice Blackburn has this week lodged claims with the Federal Magistrates Court in Brisbane on behalf of the two former Virgin Blue public relations executives claiming discrimination against the airline.

It is alleged that Virgin Blue breached numerous sections of the Fair Work Act in taking adverse action against the women for exercising their workplace rights.

"These two women had a right to exercise their parental leave entitlements and they had a right to be able to rejoin the Virgin Blue workforce in roles commensurate with their expertise," Maurice Blackburn principal Terri Butler said.

The court documents claim that Virgin Blue breached the right of the women to take maternity leave and to return to the role held immediately before the commencement of parental leave or another equivalent role.

It is also claimed that the airline breached its own parental and redundancy policies including a requirement of the airline to speak with an affected employee prior to making a decision about their role being made redundant.

A Virgin Blue spokesperson said the airline "completely refutes the allegations" made by the two former PR executives, arguing that the redundancies made were "true redundancies" and that there are inaccuracies within the complaint.

The spokesperson pointed out that more than 50 per cent of the airline's workforce is female, including three pregnant members of the corporate communications team.

A preliminary hearing will be held on 23 March 2011.

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