Madras high court vide its order dated 20/12/111 in the matter of L Kannaki Vs. Secy to Govt. has asked the government to regularize the services of a woman who was denied leave and job by the authorities, reiterating that even casual workers are entitled to three-month paid maternity leave if they had worked for 80 days in 12 months preceding child birth.
Justice D Hariparanthaman, passing orders on a petition filed by L Kannaki, who was first denied maternity leave, then not allowed to re-join duty and then refused regularization of job, said: "Kannaki was unjustly denied maternity leave and employment when she reported to duty after delivery of a child. The action of the authorities is totally illegal..."
Kannaki was a casual labourer at the Exotic Cattle Breeding Farm in Thanjavur since 1988. Since 1993, the government regularized services of more than 800 casual labourers. In 1996, Kannaki became pregnant and requested maternity leave. The authorities told her that she was not entitled to maternity leave as she was a casual labourer. After child birth in September 1996, she reported for duty. The authorities refused to provide her employment. She sent several requests and reminders seeking reinstatement and regularization of her services.