Sex worker wins labour appeal

2010-05-28 12:58

A Cape Town sex worker claiming unfair dismissal has won a ruling

from the Labour Appeal Court that she is entitled to protection under South

African labour law.

Court president Dennis Davis said in a judgment handed down today

that the ruling did not sanction sex work.

However, he said, the fact that prostitution was illegal did not

mean a sex worker was not entitled to constitutional protection.

He ruled that the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and

Arbitration (CCMA) “has jurisdiction to determine the dispute between the

parties in the present case”.

The sex worker, identified only as Kylie, was fired in 2006 from

her job at Brigitte’s Massage Parlour in the city.

Claiming unfair dismissal, she approached the CCMA, but it refused

to take on the case, saying that because she was not working in a legal job, it

did not have jurisdiction.

The Labour Court also ruled against her, saying the right to claim

unfair dismissal did not apply when the acts involved were illegal.

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