It is hard to believe that in today’s world where more and more women are in the workforce in Chaska, Minnesota, that discrimination against pregnant women is tolerated, and oftentimes even legal. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, there were nearly 5,800 claims of pregnancy discrimination across the country in 2011. Of course, the number of cases of discrimination is likely much higher due to the fact that many victims do not report the discrimination.
An employee of the United Parcel Service is just one victim of pregnancy discrimination. Although she had worked at her job for around 10 years, once she told her manager she was pregnant when she was 12 weeks along, the manager asked for a doctor’s note outlining her physical limitations. The note contained typical advice given to pregnant women like avoiding lifting things over 20 pounds. The woman said she rarely did that anyway, but thought she could work around it when she needed to.
The woman’s manager wasn’t so sure. He told her that she should not return to work until after she had her baby because she was a liability. This put the woman in a tough situation because her family could no longer rely on her income or satisfactory health insurance.
The woman has sued on the basis of pregnancy discrimination twice, but has lost her suit both times. She plans on taking her case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and hopes her case will help clear up the confusion regarding federal protections for pregnant workers.
Source: Newsday, “Michaud: End workplace bias against pregnant women,” Anne Michaud, May 7, 2014