Could Pregnancy Cost You a Job?
As any woman who has ever worked while pregnant (which these days is almost everyone who has ever been pregnant) knows, it can be tough enough even under ideal circumstances. You often have fatigue and other physical challenges to deal with, plus there are logistical issues like trying to make it to doctor’s appointments without missing work.
So it can be very frustrating (and scary) to know that, even if you manage to handle all of these challenges perfectly without any negative effects on your work, your employer could still push you out of your job due to your pregnancy.
Employers often view pregnant workers as a potential headache. Not only do they need time off for medical appointments, but they will also be on leave for a while after the baby arrives. And there’s always the chance that they may decide not to return to work at all.
So companies may try to solve the problem by cutting the pregnant worker loose. As this article points out, several laws prevent employers from blatantly discriminating against pregnant workers. However, companies are pretty crafty about circumventing this by simply making it very difficult (if not impossible) for the woman to continue working. They do this by refusing to provide any accommodations she may need, such as more frequent bathroom breaks or a place to sit down.
This can often put the women in the terrible position of deciding whether to put her health at risk in order to keep her paycheck.
Fortunately, there are several types of legislation in the works that would help protect pregnant women in this situation. In the meantime, if you are (or plan to be) a pregnant worker, it’s important to research your rights so you know exactly what your employer can and cannot do.
Have you ever been treated unfairly by an employer due to a pregnancy? Share your story in the comments.
Image courtesy of Wunkai