EU court ruled employee firing over fertilization violated equal treatment laws


On February 26, 2008, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that an employee's dismissal based on her advanced stage of in vitro fertilization treatment was contrary to the principle of equal treatment for men and women. The ruling came in the case of an Austrian woman, Sabine Mayr, who claimed that she was entitled to full payment of her salary and protection against dismissal from the time in vitro fertilization of her egg took place, even though the egg had not yet been implanted in her uterus. Mayr was fired after her egg had been fertilized but three days before the egg was implanted; she argued that she was pregnant immediately following the egg's fertilization and, therefore, her firing was illegal under Austrian law.

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Learn more about gender discrimination and the laws governing in vitro fertilization from the JURIST news archive.


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