Iberia airline fined for insisting new employees take pregnancy tests

Spanish airline Iberia said Monday it will stop asking new employees to take pregnancy tests after it was slapped with a fine of €25,000 ($29,000) for discrimination.

Iberia airline fined for insisting new employees take pregnancy tests

The airline, which formed an alliance with British Airways in 2010, said in a statement that the test “was only done to guarantee that they (women) did not face any risks”, an argument that drew scorn on social media.

Iberia denied it rejected pregnant women for jobs, saying it had contracted five women who were expecting a baby last year to different roles. Since the beginning of 2016 it has moved 60 female employees to alternative roles to fit in with their pregnancies, it added.

“Iberia never ceased to hire a woman because she was pregnant if she met the requirements for the position,” the airline said.   

The airline's use of pregnancy tests was discovered by labour inspectors with the regional government of Spain's Balearic Islands, which in June fined the company. Iberia can appeal against the fine, a spokesman for the regional government said.

WATCH: Singing Spanish flight attendant entertains on Ryanair

Health Minister Dolors Monstserrat said she “rejected” Iberia's practice of requiring new employees to take a pregnancy test.    

“Maternity can in no way be an obstacle for access to a job,” she told reporters.

Many people took to social media to dismiss Iberia's claimed justification for having required women to take pregnancy tests.   

Of Iberia's roughly 16,000 workers, 46 percent are women, the company said, adding that 71 percent of its cabin crew are women.


Hair removal kit and a vibrator? Outrage in Spain over prize for female squash champs

A squash club in Spain has been forced to apologize after sparking a sexism row for awarding female competitors prizes that included body hair removal kits and a vibrator.

Hair removal kit and a vibrator? Outrage in Spain over prize for female squash champs
An image of the trophies and gifts awarded to female players. Photo: Ganamos Con Ellas

On winning the Asturias Squash Championship on May 11th Elisabet Sadó not only received a trophy but also a gift – a Durex Play vibrator.

Second, third and fourth prize winners Olaya Fernandez Lence, Marina Arraiza Mier and Cristina Barandica Fernandez, also received gifts that included an electric foot file for removing bunyons and a leg wax kit.

Male players in the competition, however, were only awarded their trophies, without gifts of sex aids or beauty treatments.  


The players immediately complained to the Royal Spanish Squash Federation complaining that the prizes “promoted sexism”.

A photo of the prizes was posted online by local radio show Ganamos Con Ellas (We Win With Women), which described them as “degrading, shocking, harmful, inconceivable but sadly true.”

The athletes complained that it was a sign of the discrimination against women in Sport.

“We were very surprised, very shocked,” Sadó said. “We think it's very sexist. We want to bring it everybody’s attention because we think […] there's a lot of discrimination [against women in sport] and things have to change.”

Almudena Cueto, the director of the Asturian Women's Institute, said the players and returned the trophies and gifts in outrage.

“They returned the gifts and decided to make a formal complaint so something like this would never happen. What's occurred is shameful. It's left us speechless,” she said.

The squash club issued a formal apology “We understand the reaction and deeply regret this unacceptable incident,” said official statement signed by president Nacho Manzano and acting president Barbara Fernandez.

“The club reiterates its apologies to players, the Federation and people or entities offended by the discomfort caused by inappropriate gifts and that should never have been delivered.”

“We feel terribly ashamed by what's happened and we understand the gifts were not the appropriate ones but it was never our intention to offend anyone,” Manzano told local Asturian newspaper El Comercio Digital.

Answer this: Is machismo still alive and well in Spain?