Protecting Rights of Pregnant Women in the Workplace

Last week I wrote about protecting the rights of breastfeeding women in the workplace and the Federal legislation that came into effect in 2010–the pros and cons,–it seems only fitting that today’s New York Times had an article about Pregnant Women and the importance of protecting their rights in the workplace,

The author points out the crux of the problem, “Federal and state laws ban discrimination against pregnant women in the workplace. And amendments to the Americans With Disabilities Act require employers to provide reasonable accommodations to disabled employees (including most employees with medical complications arising from pregnancies) who need them to do their jobs. But because pregnancy itself is not considered a disability, employers are not obligated to accommodate most pregnant workers in any way.”

Pregnancy is not an illness, but allowing accommodations so a woman can keep working just seem to be common sense to me.  It is a sad state of affairs when we actually need laws to protect discrimination against women and they have to be extremely detailed since we cannot rely on “culture” to do the right thing.  Laws are needed and they must specifically define rights for women who are pregnant in the workplace–just like breastfeeding, whether they are laws to protect public breastfeeding or pumping in the workplace.

The health of women and children define the “health” of a society….shouldn’t that be protected.


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