An employment tribunal in England has awarded a doctor more than £4.4 million in compensation after she was sacked by a hospital because she had taken a maternity leave in order to have her baby.
Dr Eva Michalak, 53, had taken a year's leave from her job as a consultant physician at the Pontefract General Infirmary in West Yorks. Her colleagues at the hospital decided to launch a smear campaign against Dr Michalak and came up with a list of false allegations.
Though the allegations were proven to be false on confrontation, the hospital staff decided to widen the inquiry into her conduct and she was suspended for an extended period in 2006 before being sacked two years later.
Speaking in front of the tribunal, Dr Michalak's husband, Dr Julian DeHavilland, 44, said that his wife suffered from severe depression and post traumatic stress and added that they wanted to have more children but were unable to do so since she was unwell ever since the false campaign started.
The tribunal severely criticized the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust and said that it had abused its powers. Announcing the compensation, the tribunal said, "We are positively outraged at the way this employer has behaved. The claimant has lost her role and status. She is never going to return to work as a doctor, a profession which she cherished together with all the status that brings with it. In our view, simply undergoing those experiences with all the unpleasantness, anxiety, worry and fear that it caused the claimant amply justify an award for injury to feelings."