Iberia Airlines
Spanish airliner Iberia announced it will no longer require flight attendant applicants to undergo pregnancy tests REUTERS/Sergio Perez

Iberia Airlines has been fined €25,000 (£22,129/$28,503) by the Ministry of Labour of the Balearic Islands for forcing aspiring flight attendants to take pregnancy tests in what has been ruled as discrimination.

Since the fine, the Spanish airline will drop the pregnancy test requirement and will allow flight attendant applicants to decide whether or not they tell the company if they are expecting, El Pais reported.

Sources within the ministry told the newspaper that the practice was discovered last year during a campaign against labour discrimination.

Inspectors found that Iberia established a series of criteria for their applicants. Interviews were conducted by external company Randstand, which also asked female applicants to submit to pregnancy tests.

The inspectors on the Spanish islands opened a case against the company. The ministry confirmed the sanctions after rejecting Iberia's excuses, according to El Pais.

The company claimed the pregnancy tests were conducted throughout Spain and that the results allowed new employees to be incorporated into the airline's health protocol.

Sources within the company claimed that the pregnancy tests are part of medical examinations conducted on candidates who have passed the selection process.

Iberia also claimed that the purpose of the pregnancy test was so the airline did "not assign [expectant mothers] a task that puts their pregnancy at risk".

The airline can still appeal the decision within the same department, the Spanish newspaper reported. The department announced it will continue to conduct inspections to avoid these types of cases.