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Brazilian Federal Supreme Court invalidates Labor Reform norm that allowed work of pregnant and nursing mothers in unhealthy activities

The Plenary of the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (STF), by the majority of votes, it was granted the claim of the Direct Action for the Declaration of Unconstitutionality (ADI) 5938 to declare unconstitutional parts of the Consolidation of Labor Laws (CLT) introduced by the Labor Reform (Law 13467), wich admitted the possibility of pregnant and nursing workers to perform unhealthy activities in some cases. For the mainstream, the expression "when submitting a health certificate issued by a doctor of the woman's trust", contained in clauses II and III of article 394-A of the CLT, confront constitutional protection of maternity and child.

The lawsuit was filed in the Supreme Court by the National Confederation of Metalworkers. The norm questioned admitted that pregnant women carried out activities considered to be unhealthy in medium or minimum degree and that nursing mothers performed unhealthy activities to any degree, except when they presented a health certificate that recommended her removal.

Maternity protection

The rapporteur began his vote by observing that, after the legal amendment, the norm began to impose on pregnant women and nursing mothers the burden of presenting health attestation as a condition for her temporary removal. This burden, according to the Justice, subjects the worker to greater dificulty to exercise her rights, especially for those who do not have access to basic health sistems to obtain the certificate.

In the evaluation of the Justice, the rule is in disagreement with several rights enshrined in the Federal Constitution and the ones derived from them, among them: maternity protection, maternity leave and job security assured to pregnant women, as well as health, hygiene and security norms. From this perspective, the protection of pregnant or nursing women in relation to unhealthy work is characterized as a protective social right of both women and children.

Read the full text of the Justice Alexandre de Moraes' (rapporteur) vote.

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