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Pregnancy Discrimination In The Workplace: How Far Have We Come?

1338 words - 5 pages

Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace


Title: Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace: How Far Have We Come?

Introduction: Define employment discrimination

I. Pregnancy Discrimination Act

A. Hiring

B. Pregnancy and Maternity Leave

C. Health Insurance

II. Reasons for increase of complaints

A. Staying in the workplace

B. Productivity and economy

C. Stereotypes

III. Employers' concerns

Conclusion: Know your rights.

Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace: How Far Have We Come?

In a world where there have been so many advancements, is it really necessary to have laws to protect us from discrimination in the workplace? The answer is a definite yes. Unfortunately, in these progressive times, employment laws are very important for protection from discrimination. There are cases of different types of discrimination in the news everyday, all over the world. "Employment Discrimination laws seek to prevent discrimination based on race, sex, religion, national origin, physical disability, and age by employers.(1)" "Discriminatory practices include bias in hiring, promotion, job assignment, termination, compensation, and various types of harassment.(1)" There have been a number of federal laws enacted since the 1960s that prohibit discrimination in the workplace. In a society where a large percentage of the workforce is made up of women, to include mothers, the Pregnancy Discrimination is very important. Especially considering that the number of pregnancy discrimination complaints that were filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) jumped 39% from fiscal year 1992 to 2003 (3). This amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects pregnant women in the workforce in a number of different ways.

The first of which is that an employer cannot refuse to hire a pregnant woman because she is pregnant. This can be a huge issue when applying for a new job when pregnant because of course the employer is going to be worried about a number of issues that could arise, such as how long the new hire will be available to work, her limitations in the job, and medical insurance. The employer cannot refuse to hire a pregnant woman just for the simple fact that she's pregnant; they also cannot refuse to hire her based on the prejudices of co-workers, clients, or customers (2).

Employers are also prohibited under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act from enacting special procedures to determine an employee's ability to work. If an employee is unable to perform her job due to pregnancy, the employees must be given the same rights as any other temporarily disabled employee. Pregnant employees also have the right to work as long as they are able to perform their assigned duties. If an employee is absent from work die to a pregnancy-related condition, an employer cannot require the employee to remain on leave until after the baby is born if they recover....

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