BT worker claims sex discrimination

A BRITISH Telecom worker today claimed her employers sexually discriminated against her after she told them she was pregnant.Franca Okoye, 35, of Lotus Close, Ipswich was based at Adastral Park in Martlesham until she resigned in June last year.

A BRITISH Telecom worker today claimed her employers sexually discriminated against her after she told them she was pregnant.

Franca Okoye, 35, of Lotus Close, Ipswich was based at Adastral Park in Martlesham until she resigned in June last year.

She told an employment tribunal sitting in Bury St Edmunds today that her employers changed their views towards her after she revealed she was pregnant.

Until then she had felt a valued member of staff who had recently received a big pay rise.


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The mother-of-four worked up until two weeks before giving birth in September 2001.

She returned to work three months later but claims she was forced to go for an interview for a new position, something she had not been made aware of.

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BT denied it was an interview and said it was simply an informal chat.

But this signalled the start of Mrs Okoye's problems with the firm.

She told the tribunal she was then moved from "pillar to post" to various new jobs and was expected to learn new skills.

This caused her to develop stress and a doctor eventually signed her off work for six months as a result.

She returned in July 2002 but was still unable to take up her old job which she had held before her maternity leave.

She said: "On my return I received even worse treatment. I was bullied and received a heavier workload than ever before. I stated my desire to return to my previous position but was told I was being re-deployed.

"I felt humiliated, aside and isolated."

She also told the tribunal that she was unhappy the way BT dealt with her grievances, saying she was eventually forced to resign because of deteriorating health.

She said: "My health and confidence had deteriorated to the point where I couldn't see a future for me at BT, I blame BT for this."

She resigned in June 2003. The tribunal is expected to last three days.

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