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Mother takes brother to tribunal after pregnancy dispute at their work.

A young mother yesterday launched legal action against her brother by claiming he forced her to give up her job with his company after she told him she was pregnant.

Expectant Emma Driver claims that when she told older brother David she could not change from part time to full time work because of her situation he told her she might as well hand in her notice there and then. Miss Driver, aged 25, is claiming sexual discrimination and unfair dismissal at an employment tribunal in Newcastle upon Tyne.

The tribunal heard that Miss Driver, who also has a young son, started work in the office at brother David's novelty toy firm in March 2003 but handed in her notice by October, a month after revealing her pregnancy. Emma, of Burnopfield, Tyne and Wear, was earning pounds 68 a week working part time at the site in Gateshead, when the dispute flared.

Miss Driver, who left her brother's firm on October 16 is seeking compensation for the period until she started work at a call centre on October 27.

She told the tribunal: 'I indicated that I could not work full time and he became quite annoyed at this and he seemed to treat me completely differently.

'The day I told him I was pregnant he said 'well you have messed things right up for me then'. When I maintained I could not work full time he said 'fair enough then hand your notice in'.'

The tribunal heard that witnesses for 43-year-old Mr Driver, of Gateshead, had prepared statements which claimed his younger sister often left work early and would take toys from his unit without paying for them until later.

Mr Driver denied forcing his sister out of a job and told the panel she had left his firm of her own will.

He said he had given her various gifts during her time with his firm and had even taxed her car for her with company money.

He faced his sister and told her she wanted to work less hours and thought she could manufacture her own deal.

'It's my opinion you had this all pre-planned to leave,' he said.

The tribunal continues.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Mar 16, 2004
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