A German industrial court on Tuesday found a Sony subsidiary guilty of discrimination for promoting a man rather than a woman who was expecting a child.
The woman, today in her late 30s, brought the case to Berlin's industrial court after she was denied promotion in 2005 to a position of manager for Sony BMG, a joint venture at the time between Germany's Bertelsmann and the Japanese Sony label.
She and two male colleagues were in the running for the job and one of her colleagues got it.
When she asked the reason for the decision, she was told it was related to her family situation and that she should be pleased she was having a baby.
The Berlin court twice denied her appeal on the grounds that discrimination could not be proven, but the federal court twice quashed this ruling.
The Berlin court finally ruled that it was up to the employer to prove there had been no discrimination, something it had failed to do.
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