A recent tribunal ruling against Commerzbank in a case brought by a compliance officer serves as reminder employers should be careful to not make “stereotypical” assumptions about what tasks pregnant female staff or those returning from maternity leave can or should perform, legal experts said.

The London branch of the German bank was found to have discriminated against employee Jagruti Rajput for effectively sidelining her when she returned from maternity leave, a U.K. employment appeal tribunal upheld. The latest judgment in the case was made public Sept. 23 after a tribunal’s earlier ruling in Rajput’s favor was challenged.

Rajput, a senior compliance officer at Commerzbank, complained a substantial part of her work had been given to a male colleague without her knowledge or consent as she returned from maternity leave, and that he was then treated as a senior member—referred to as the “point person”—of the team. She also complained she had been left out of two team meetings: one while she was on maternity leave and another after she had returned to work.

Her manager, who at the time was head of regional compliance, U.K. and Asia, said she had an “unhealthy obsession with work.”

The tribunal heard Rajput was overlooked for internal promotion as head of markets compliance in 2015 because of clashes within her team, which was described as “toxic” and fueled by a former manager’s management style.

In testimony, her manager said he deliberately appointed an “innocuous” male candidate because of Rajput and another female colleague’s “divisive personalities”—a term he used only to describe the characters of female team members.

The original tribunal found this was sex discrimination.

“These stereotypical assumptions would not have been made against the claimant if she was a man,” it ruled.

Rajput was awarded approximately 186,000 pounds (U.S. $207,000) for loss of earnings and injury to feelings.

“We are, of course, disappointed with the decision of the employment tribunal and stand by the evidence and credibility of our witnesses during the trial,” a Commerzbank spokesperson said in an emailed statement in response to the most recent ruling. “We as an employer remain committed to equal opportunities in our workplace. We will consider appropriate next steps, including if an appeal would be in order.”

Lee Ashwood, employment director at law firm Freeths, said, “This case acts as a wake-up call that discrimination in the workplace more often than not is based on stereotypes and assumptions rather than overt acts.”

Andrew Willis, associate director of legal at consultancy Croner, warned “prejudiced opinions” that employees returning from maternity leave will be unable to fulfill aspects of their role or will require changes to their working patterns will “instigate maternity discrimination, even if they aren’t intended to cause upset or harm.”

Sarah Calderwood, partner at law firm Slater Heelis, said, “Communication is key. Employers should be having discussions with pregnant employees to agree the extent of contact they would like to have while on maternity leave and to discuss how to make their return to work smooth.”

She recommended “employers train staff about the ‘unconscious bias’ to raise awareness and to challenge preconceived ideas about working women who are pregnant or on maternity leave.”