Pregnant workers suffer routine discrimination at work

Last Updated: Wed, Jun 19, 2013 10:00 hrs

Pregnant women, especially those in low-wage jobs, are disallowed basic accommodations and are routinely fired a new report has revealed.

According to the report by the National Women's Law Center, despite federal laws designed to prevent such discrimination, pregnant workers are not given accommodations by the employers that they routinely give employees with disabilities.

Vice president and lawyer for the center, Emily Martin, said that low-wage earners are more likely to have more physically demanding jobs and less willing employers making them more vulnerable.

The report points out many cases in which low-wage pregnant workers lost their income, insurance and even their job when they were denied temporary accommodations.

Martin states that the court is ignoring the three federal laws that promise protections for pregnant workers - the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act.

As a result, the report is inciting for channel of the Women's Equality Act, which will guarantee accommodations to pregnant workers.

State legislation can provide additional protection for pregnant workers, the report added

Martin said the solution may not be more legislation but clearer guidance and enforcement of laws.

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