The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) has said it will sue the Ghana Fire Service (GNFS) again if it fails to reinstate the two female officers it dismissed for getting pregnant within three years of their employment.
“If you have done this, and the court has put you back, just clarify the situation and move on but if you are dragging your feet, this Commission will not hesitate to sue once again and this time around the judgment debt will even be higher,” Commissioner at CHRAJ, Joseph Whittal said on Friday in an interview on the Citi Breakfast Show.
The two female fire officers, Grace Fosu and Thelma Hammond, were dismissed from the Fire Service in 2014 after the Service discovered that they had gotten pregnant within the first three years after joining the Service.
Regulation 33(6) of the GNFS’ conditions of service of the Fire Service prohibits pregnancy within the first three years of employment.
CHRAJ, together with the two officers, sued the Ghana Fire Service over the issue after which the ruling was delivered on April 23, 2018.
The court upheld that the regulation “is discriminatory in effect, unjustifiable, illegitimate and illegal” and ordered the Fire Service to reinstate the two and also compensate them with GH¢50,000 each.
The court also directed the service to pay the two officers their salaries and benefits from the time they were dismissed till date.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, Joseph Whittal said it would be an international embarrassment for Ghana if GNFS drags its feet in reinstating the staff.
“We took the Ghana National Fire Service to court and the Attorney General. They were defended by the Attorney General much to our surprise because we didn’t expect the Attorney General to defend a practice which is clearly discriminatory.”
“So now that they have eaten humble pie, the best thing they can do is to go ahead and follow the directives of the court, pay the monies and get the people reinstated with all their arrears. Otherwise, should this matter go back to court, it will be an embarrassment for this country if we call ourselves a democratic country that respects human rights especially the women that we think we are protecting,” he added.