Pregnancy: The End
Pregnancy Discrimination Complaints at Record High
A record 4,901 pregnancy discrimination complaints were filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in 2006. However, the actual number of pregnancy discrimination cases may be higher, as many women see filing complaints as a â€ścareer killer,â€? said EEOC spokesperson David Grinberg, according to the Baltimore Sun.
The most common discrimination complaints from pregnant women are unlawful demotions, firing, and not being hired in the first place, according to the Kaiser Daily Womenâ€™s Health Policy Report. Maria Salacuse, an EEOC attorney in Baltimore, said that as more women become aware of their rights under the law, more are willing to file complaints, according to the Sun.
According to the EEOC, about 27 percent of the pregnancy discrimination cases closed during 2006 had favorable outcomes for the women. Not counting monetary awards obtained through litigation, the EEOC recovered $10.4 million on behalf of the pregnant women filing complaints in 2006, according to the Sun.
This seems to happen time and time again in the workforce with women. Once she becomes pregnant, she is seen as "fragile". It seems like companies are reverting back several decades where pregnant women stayed at home on bed rest so they couldn't "overwork" themselves. Seriously? If a woman wants to work during her pregnancy, why shouldn't she? Isn't it the woman's choice if she wants to take time off or not? By telling a woman she can't work, it's like telling her she's not capable of working. It's like the second that pregnancy test turns positive she enters a completely different world where it's a necessity to isolate oneself from anything that may cause one's brow to sweat.
This situation makes me think of an episode of Sex & The City when the character Miranda, a high powered lawyer, found out she was pregnant and refused to tell her firm. Her reasoning was that if they found out, the likelihood of her working on bigger cases would decrease so they wouldn't overexert her. She said pregnancy is the death card for work.
If I was a woman and realized my company has unfair practices towards pregnant women, i find that it might discourage me from wanting to conceive. This also makes me think, is there a point where men are told to take time off of work? Probably not, because they are the ones telling the women to leave.