Malaysian teacher gets $13,000 in damages for termination of contract due to pregnancy

The Star/Asia News Network

KUALA LUMPUR - The Federal Court has awarded RM40,000 (S$13,498) in damages to a teacher who sought a declaration that pregnancy was not a reason for her to be denied employment.

When contacted, Noorfadilla Ahmad Saikin's counsel Honey Tan said Tuesday that Justice Ahmad Maarop, who chaired the Apex Court's five-man panel, granted their cross appeal by increasing the quantum from RM30,000 to RM40,000.

Other judges on the panel were Justices Azahar Mohamed, Zaharah Ibrahim, Balia Yusof Wahi and David Wong Dak Wah.

Tan also said the panel declined to answer the three questions of law relating to damages on breach of constitutional right which the court had earlier allowed at the leave stage.

In granting the six appellants' appeal Monday (May 14), Tan said the panel withdrew the RM10,000 damages for the pain and suffering given by the Court of Appeal to her client on Nov 23, 2016.

The appellants were Hulu Langat district education officers Chayed Basirun and Ismail Musa, Selangor Education Department director Dr Zahri Aziz, Education Ministry director-general, the Education Minister and the Government.

The Court of Appeal had on Nov 23, 2016 maintained the RM30,000 damages for breach of constitutional right and damages of RM10,000 for pain and suffering. The court also gave her RM10,000 in costs.

The mother of four had filed the suit on May 7, 2010, seeking a declaration that the termination of her contract because she was three months' pregnant was illegal.

She claimed that she was offered a position as an untrained relief teacher on a month-to-month basis starting in mid-January 2009.

However, the offer was withdrawn when she informed the Hulu Langat district education office that she was pregnant.