IBM Wins A Return-To-Work Case Against A Female Employee

IBM, more popularly known as ‘Big Blue’, is a multinational technology giant. Recently, a female employee working for IBM sued or complained about the company. The woman was all set to take on the company by taking the issue to the court, as it is believed that she complained about contradicting working hours.

The employee was a young mother who was on an approved maternity leave from the company. When she returned to work, she complained that the company overloaded her with work; however, she lost the court battle, and was ordered to pay fines worth $150,000 for her false allegations.

Kelly Yeoh, a female software engineer at International Business Machines Corporation stated that her working hours extended to 60 hours when she was supposed to complete 20 hours each week as per the request. This happened in 2008 but the Federal Circuit Court of Australia addressed this issue in March and announced the decision that favored Big Blue.

Judge Sandy Street judged the case and said that Kelly Yeoh was on an ‘approved’ maternity leave in 2008 during her employment in IBM based in Canberra. When she returned from her leave in 2009, she moved to South Australia office of IBM. Consequently, the company approved her request to work 20 hours per week.

A manager at IBM affirms that he believes Mrs. Yeoh needs to push her potential and “skill up” due to the modifications that have been made in the project concerned with her. Mrs. Yeoh’s performance had been exceptional in 2010. However, the same year in March, the manager started to doubt her level of productivity.

The female employee alleged that she had to work for 20 hours or more per week, as per the sources, she believed that she was overburdened with the work. She further alleged that she was working for around 40 to 60 hours per week for almost 14 months because her weekly workload could not be covered up or finished within the 20 hours per week quota. However, Judge Sandy Street denied all these allegations and said that Mrs. Yeoh was not asked to work over hours at any point.

She said, “While it is true that the applicant did make complaints about her workload, I do not accept that she was working more than 20 hours a week on any regular basis. I accept that she was working odd hours, due to the flexibility that she had because of her own request for that part-time employment. I do not accept that the applicant was given a workload that required her to work in excess of 20 hours per week.”

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