A Spanish airline was recently criticized for requiring its female applicants to undergo a pregnancy test in its screening process.
Iberia defended the said screening process, saying it is a safety precaution for pregnant women to board the plane, especially during the third trimester of pregnancy.
Iberia told The New York Times that pregnant but qualified employees will only be reassigned to other jobs and will be prevented to report from flying duties to protect them.
In fact, just this month, the airline assigned about 32 female flight attendants to other posts because they are pregnant.
However, the Spanish government and labor groups rallied that the “qualifying” test set by the airline is sexist.
The Union General de Trabajadores, one of Spain’s major labor unions, considered the test as discriminatory and unjustifiable.
“There is no reason to justify it,” said the labor union in a statement.
The airline was charged with a $28,000 fine by the authorities of the Balearic regional government when the officials found out that the airline continued the practice.
The company is said to be free to appeal against the fine but refused, rather obeyed the demand to cease the test.
Dolor Montserrat, Spanish minister for health, social services and equality told The New York Times that they “would continue to be extremely vigilant against any form of work discrimination based on sex or for any other reason.”
She said she “rejected” the practice, the BBC reported.
“Given the controversy, arising from the current protocol in place to protect pregnant women, we will no longer include a pregnancy test in the medical examination for new hires,” Maria Teresa Garcia Menéndez said.
Spain has a strict implementation of their anti- gender discrimination laws.