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Brown v. Rentokil

Case C-394/96 (1998)

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Brown v. Rentokil

European Union Court of Justice

Case C-394/96 (1998)

Facts

Mrs. Brown (plaintiff) worked as a driver at Rentokil Limited (defendant). In August 1990, Brown became pregnant and informed Rentokil. Brown submitted several medical certificates regarding various pregnancy symptoms, including bleeding and backache, which rendered her unable to work. Rentokil included a clause in Brown’s employment contract that stipulated the termination of any employee, regardless of gender, who was unable to work for more than 26 consecutive weeks. On November 9, 1990, Rentokil executives warned Brown that half of the 26-week period had passed, and she would be terminated if she did not return to work before February 8, 1991. Brown did not return to work. Brown gave birth on March 22, 1991. Brown sued Rentokil for sex discrimination. The courts of Great Britain held that Rentokil did not discriminate against Brown. Brown appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Colomer, J.)

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