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Three Reasons to End Pregnant Worker Discrimination

Have you ever heard a woman exclaim happiness at finding out she will be a mother just to hear her say in the next breath, “What am I going to do about work?”.  Unfortunately, millions of women are torn between motherhood and employment.  The two just don’t mix evenly.  The only people on earth that can have a baby are women.  A man can’t conceive, grow and nurture a child in his body for 9 months. So why do they get to make all the rules?  The 21st Century has seen an increase in women in non-traditional jobs, especially in the Trades. These women need protections to create our future generations in America. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act can help women find physical support, relieve taxpayer burdens and create a stable future for employers.

1978 Laws Outdated 

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 created equality while outlawing discrimination.  But pregnancy
always creates inequality as pregnant women’s physical abilities change nearly immediately.  Pregnant women need special accommodations.  It’s not special since some accommodations are normal in pregnancies which only one gender can operate.  The 1978 law does not provide for these accommodations which include but are not limited to: frequent bathroom breaks, removal from physically strenuous jobs, allowing women to sit at their jobs, rest periods, extra eating periods/breaks and light duty.  There are numerous stories circulating the workplace of women being forced to resign, take early maternity/FMLA leave and being fired.  These options create an imbalanced workforce based on gender needs.  The newest law, includes reasonable accommodations for women so our American
economy can continue to rise.

Accommodations Decrease Taxpayer Costs

As single motherhood rises to over 25% of American homes, women working is a priority for our national economy. Women buy the food, pay the rent/mortgage and all other costs of raising children. When they are not protected at work and lose their jobs, Uncle Sam becomes the new paycheck.  Uncle Sam will then pay the daycare provider while mom waddles through town for a job, send out a shiny new foodstamp card, pay the gas and electric through local and federal grants, and much more.  Taxpayers would save the prenatal and post-natal hospitalization and delivery which averages $9,000$70 to $150 per month for formula, and  $50 a month for clothes (babies need new sixes every 2-3 months). Let’s not forget the other children in the house and their needs.  What if mom has post-delivery medical issues?  The hook into taxpayers is in the tens of thousands.  When women work, the economy works.

High Turnover Hurts Everyone

Our economic machine is well oiled by hard working people of all genders and in all shapes, sizes and conditions.  When a companies turnover increases so do their costs of operations.  The EEOC reviewed 31,000 pregnancy related complaints between 2010 and 2015. African-American women had the highest percentage of complaints, nearly 30%,
but are only 14% of the working population.  
The American people pay the EEOC millions in staffing, court costs and
facilities.  Companies lose profits and stability as well.  The cost to hire and train employees varies but averages nearly $3,400 for a minimum wage worker to $8,000 for a $40,000 a year manager.  Pregnancy discrimination just doesn’t pay, it costs.

These are but a few of the reasons to protect pregnant working women.  Call your Congressional and local representatives to tell them to support the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.  For more information go to the National
Women’s Law Center

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