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Pregnant Workers Still Face Workplace Discrimination

Posted on in Employment

Decades after the passing of a law that protects pregnant employees from discrimination based on their condition, these women continue to face widespread workplace bias. According to a new study that was conducted recently by researchers at Southwestern University and Ohio State University, 35 years after the passing of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, complaints of discrimination from pregnant women in the workplace, continue to be filed.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits unfair discrimination, including termination of an employee, because she's pregnant. According to the researchers, even though such kind of behavior by employers is against the law, it doesn't prevent it from going on.

However, according to the researchers, in 2014, the kind of discrimination that pregnant employees face is far more subtle than it was earlier. Today, a woman who is pregnant, is much more likely to be unfairly targeted as being a poor performer, and is more likely to be held much more stringently accountable for any deficiencies in her performance.The research was based on an analysis of 70 cases of pregnancy-related workplace discrimination between 1986 and 2003.

According to the researchers, employers have the right to be concerned about tardiness, and workplace performance. However, the problem arises when they fail to hold all non-pregnant workers, to the same standards. There is a perception in the industry and among many employers, that retaining a pregnant worker is expensive for the business. There is a stereotype that pregnant workers are unreliable and undependable.

In cases where a pregnant worker is fired from a job, or otherwise discriminated against and decides to file a lawsuit, the employer might hold the upper hand, because he has much quicker and easier access to legal resources, and can hire an employment lawyer immediately.

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