The 1st Panel of the Superior Labor Court (TST) ruled out, by majority vote, provisional stability for a pregnant worker hired to provide temporary services. According to the conclusion of the appellate decision, temporary employment contracts do not generate the expectation of continuity of the employment relationship, which makes them incompatible with the right to temporary stability for pregnant women.

The decision provides a new perspective on the interpretation of item III of Precedent No. 244 of the TST, whose wording suggests that the right to stability applies to pregnant women, regardless of whether they were hired for a fixed or indeterminate term or for temporary work.

This is a first precedent in this sense and reveals a divergence among the members of the TST. In a similar case, the 2nd Panel of the Court had recognized the provisional stability of pregnant women. The ruling was published in December of 2016. The dissent shows that item III of the Precedent was issued prematurely, without consolidating the jurisprudential understanding on the subject.

The existence of conflicting decisions between the panels allows the case to be taken to a special body of the court, which may define the position of the individual disputes section of the TST on the subject.

Understand the case:

The labor claim was filed by a worker hired to provide temporary services for three months and who was already pregnant when she was hired. The trial court (Labor Court of Assis Chateaubriand - PR) dismissed the petition for provisional stability, arguing that temporary contracts of employment have specific characteristics and should only last for the period stipulated by the law and by the parties. In the trial decision, the court pointed out that, upon being hired, the employee was aware that she would work for only three months.

The plaintiff appealed the decision and had the right to provisional stability recognized by the Regional Labor Appellate Court of Paraná, based precisely on item III of Precedent No. 244 of the TST.

On March 20 of this year, the TST accepted a review appeal brought by the company. Contrary to the prevailing understanding, Reporting Justice Walmir Oliveira da Costa, stated that the stability of pregnant women provided for in item III of Precedent No. 244 does not cover temporary employment contracts signed under Law No. 6,019/1974.

Justice Hugo Carlos Scheuermann voted with the Justice da Costa, thus reaching a majority vote over dissenting substitute judge Marcelo Lamego Pertence.

This decision may be appealed to the special body of the TST, which may settle the Court's understanding on the matter.

Case: RR-0001163-28.2014.5.09.0655.
Source: TST- 3/20/2017.