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Updated - Woman awarded €799,168 for gender discrimination

Updated - Adds details -

The daughter of a former port worker who was not allowed to take her father's place of work due to her gender has been awarded almost €800,000 in damages by the First Hall of the Civil Court.

Victoria Cassar filed her writ in 1993 against the Port Workers Board.

She told the court that her father, port worker Carmelo Abela had retired from work in August 1992. The filling of a vacant post among port workers was regulated by the 1996 Port Worker Regulations whcih stipulated that eligibility to fill a vacancy was limited to the eldest son of a port worker.

Mrs Cassar said that she was the eldest of her father's three daughters and that the Port Workers Board had not allowed her to fill her father's vacant post on the basis that she was a woman.

She had then discovered that her father's brother had applied to be registered as a port worker in her father's place and that the application had been accepted by the Board.

Mrs Cassar had then requested the courts to award her damages on the basis that she had suffered a financial loss.

In yesterday's judgment Mr Justice Silvio Meli pointed out that another court had delivered a partial judgment in this case in 1999 and that the hearing of the case had then been suspended until such time as a constitutional application filed by Mrs Cassar was decided upon.

It resulted that in 2002 the constitutional case was decided and that the court had ordered the Port Workers Board to allow Mrs Cassar to register herself as eligible to be a port worker with retroactive effect back to 1992.

Yesterday's judgment was therefore limited to the damages suffered by Mrs Cassar.

Mr Justice Meli pointed out that Mrs Cassar was a Bank of Valletta employee and that her salary in this post was considerably less that what she would have earned as a port worker. The difference between the two salaries in the period between 1993 and 2010 amounted to €288,868. To this sum the court added EUR53,000 which represented benefits received by port workers and the sum of EUR457,300 which consisted in the difference in Mrs Cassar bank salary and that of a port worker until her retirement.

The court added that it was basing its decision on the attitude of the Board which had continued to deprive Mrs Cassar of her rights despite previous court judgments.

In total Mrs Cassar was awarded €799,168 in damages

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