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Mum-to-be insists she was sacked for getting pregnant

PUBLISHED: 15:34 20 November 2008 | UPDATED: 15:44 25 August 2010

SACKED:Leah Lewer.

SACKED:Leah Lewer.

A MOTHER claims she was sacked from her waitressing job because she was pregnant.

A MOTHER claims she was sacked from her waitressing job because she was pregnant.

Leah Lewer, of Maud Cashmore, Woolwich, has served a notice of legal action against her former employers at the Danson Stables restaurant for sexual discrimination, on Monday.

The 23-year-old worked at the restaurant for six months but was suspended for 'bullying' on November 7, within weeks of her employer discovering she was pregnant.

Ms Lewer said: "I had not planned to get pregnant, but I wanted to keep my child.

"One day I went into work and was called to the office, told I was being suspended for bullying but given no reason why.

"I think the real reason was that I'm pregnant. More or less as soon as they found out I was suspended.

"I was very upset because I loved working there and I loved the people there. I'm expecting now - it's difficult. I don't think anyone else will hire me now."

Onay Kasab, Greenwich Unison branch secretary, has represented Ms Lewer in his own time.

He said the suspension and subsequent dismissal was a 'sham', notably when the employer's investigation took less than 30 minutes and called no witnesses.

At its conclusion, a pre-prepared letter was handed to Ms Lewer calling her to a disciplinary meeting.

Mr Kasab said: "Leah is absolutely terrified by this situation.

"It is clear that from the start, the aim was to dismiss her for the sole reason that she is pregnant.

"An employer of this size is expected to at least follow basic procedures and the law, and it failed to do so.

"They should be totally and utterly ashamed of themselves."

Ms Lewer lives with her boyfriend, a BT employee, whose wages will have to meet the needs of her and her baby by May.

Mitchells and Butlers, the chain Danson Stables is a part of, insisted its disciplinary procedures were comprehensive, and denied the "serious and unfounded" allegation. A spokesman said: "The dismissal of this individual only took place after our disciplinary procedures were carried out, fully

and fairly.

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