Pregnancy discrimination statistics-Efforts to Combat Pregnancy Discrimination - Center for American Progress

They have rolled out generous parental leave policies, designed cushy lactation rooms and plowed millions of dollars into programs aimed at retaining mothers. Throughout the American workplace, pregnancy discrimination remains widespread. It can start as soon as a woman is showing, and it often lasts through her early years as a mother. The New York Times reviewed thousands of pages of court and public records and interviewed dozens of women, their lawyers and government officials. A clear pattern emerged.

Pregnancy discrimination statistics

Pregnancy discrimination statistics

Pregnancy discrimination statistics

The passing of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Actproposed federal legislation first introduced inwould help eliminate some of this confusion, Gedmark said. Despite legal protections, pregnancy discrimination claims still widespread. They were able to find work for her colleagues discriminwtion similar situations, so they, as a huge company, certainly could have for her. When she was eight months pregnant, statisstics discussed potential future career moves with Mr. She was Pregnancy discrimination statistics off three weeks before giving birth. Of note:.

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In Cambodia, there are Pregnancy discrimination statistics that provide pregnant women three months of maternity leave and maternity pay if the worker has worked for a year or longer. Even employees who sratistics lost their licenses after driving drunk got different assignments. In Hong Kong, Ebon teens is a criminal offence if an employer discriminates against a pregnant employee if the employee has been hired under a continuous contract. Australia has tried to combat the issues of pregnancy discrimination in their workforce. The next year, Ms. Retrieved 7 July Woolbright kept lifting until she got hurt. The characteristics of women who experience possible discrimination. All Rights Reserved. Scared she was having a miscarriage, she went back to the hospital. Young sued U. She was five months pregnant, and the smell of the cleaning fluids nauseated her. In Canada, pregnancy discrimination is considered a violation of Pregnancy discrimination statistics laws and will be treated as such. Discriination earns a six-figure salary plus a bonus coordinating the movement of the oil that Glencore buys and sells.

Forty years ago, on October 31, , the Pregnancy Discrimination Act PDA was signed into law to prohibit discrimination in the workplace on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.

  • Pregnancy discrimination is a type of employment discrimination that occurs when expectant women are fired, not hired, or otherwise discriminated against due to their pregnancy or intention to become pregnant.
  • This table shows charge data for pregnancy discrimination.

Forty years ago, on October 31, , the Pregnancy Discrimination Act PDA was signed into law to prohibit discrimination in the workplace on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. But while the passage of the law was a critical step forward, it has not ended discriminatory practices targeting pregnant women.

Claims of pregnancy discrimination filed with the U. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission EEOC increased sharply in the s and s, and pregnancy discrimination remains a widespread problem across all industries and regions of the United States.

These measures would help ensure their ability to fully participate in the labor force and provide support for their families in workplaces free of discrimination. The last two decades have included periods of rapid growth of pregnancy discrimination charge filings. Other research suggests that the prevalence of workplace inequities pregnant women face extend far beyond the number of pregnancy discrimination charges formally filed with the EEOC.

For example, research conducted by Childbirth Connection , an initiative focused on improving maternity care, estimated that approximately , pregnant workers are denied requests for accommodations each year. In addition, many women fear retaliation from employers, which may lead them to not report pregnancy-related discrimination or to avoid asking for accommodations entirely. One clear pattern that has emerged from available data is the disproportionate impact of pregnancy discrimination on some women of color and low-wage workers.

Analysis from the National Partnership for Women and Families reveals that in fiscal years through , black or African American women filed Women in lower-wage industries, including food services, health care and social assistance, and retail, also reported disproportionate rates of discrimination.

Women of color are overrepresented in many of these low-wage jobs, and mothers in low-wage jobs are disproportionately black and Latina. Pregnancy discrimination takes a variety of forms. It can include being denied a request for a temporary accommodation—such as not lifting heavy boxes, often called light duty , or not working with toxic chemicals—or being fired or denied a promotion as a result of being pregnant.

Such denials may stem, in part, from perceptions or stereotypes about the capacities and abilities of pregnant women. They may also be motivated by biases about pregnant women or mothers themselves, particularly those from certain racial, ethnic, or economic backgrounds. These types of discriminatory practices can have both economic and health consequences.

Thus, it is critical to ensure that any policies aimed at reducing pregnancy discrimination specifically examine and incorporate strategies to eliminate racial, ethnic, and economic disparities in the treatment of pregnant workers. Race, ethnicity, and economic status often can influence whether mothers and pregnant women in the United States are expected to continue working, and these views can affect how they are treated in the workplace.

Research examining how race affects perceptions about mothers notes that black mothers, for example, are often expected to work because of long-standing stereotypes about who should provide labor. Black mothers have the highest labor force participation rates of mothers from any racial or ethnic group, a trend that has been true for years; in , Yet their compensation does not match this increased participation: Black mothers consistently earn less than their white counterparts, and the gap only increases when compared with white fathers.

Similarly, many women working in low-wage jobs are undervalued and treated as if they are less deserving of respect. Women are overrepresented in these occupations, with Many women of color also encounter attitudes that minimize their need for protections. These attitudes can also affect the ability of women of color to move into the workforce.

Research on young, pregnant Latinas found that many felt discouraged from pursuing their education altogether or relegated to less rigorous programs once they became pregnant.

Lowered expectations about work combined with the devaluation of their contributions to the workplace may lead to the denial of accommodations and outright firing of pregnant workers. When a woman is denied pregnancy accommodations, she may be forced to choose between a healthy pregnancy and her livelihood. While the federal PDA has provided pregnant women with critical protections, lawmakers at the national level can and should take important steps to strengthen protections further.

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act , a bipartisan effort to address issues around accommodations for pregnant workers, has been introduced in every legislative session since but has yet to move forward. In the face of federal inaction to combat pregnancy discrimination, 23 states and Washington, D.

The passage of these state laws reflects important progress. But combating pregnancy discrimination must also include new strategies at the federal and state levels focused on the racial, ethnic, and economic disparities in discrimination and health outcomes for pregnant workers. It is pervasive in both its overt forms—firing pregnant employees and denying accommodations and leave time—as well as in its subtler forms, such as not considering pregnant women for promotions and raises.

Comprehensive action is necessary to defend the rights of pregnant workers, including federal legislation, enforcement mechanisms, and an expansion of available research on the racial, ethnic, and economic disparities embedded in discriminatory practices.

Steps to address bias against women of color and low-income pregnant workers specifically will promote a workforce in which all women have the support to make healthy, personal choices about their pregnancies without limiting their long-term success. Jocelyn Frye is a senior fellow at the Center.

An overview of pregnancy discrimination charge data Charges alleging pregnancy discrimination under the PDA can be filed with the EEOC or with state or local Fair Employment Practices Agencies FEPAs around the country that are designated to receive charges filed under federal or state law.

Harmful expectations for pregnant women and mothers in the workplace Pregnancy discrimination takes a variety of forms. State action to expand protections While the federal PDA has provided pregnant women with critical protections, lawmakers at the national level can and should take important steps to strengthen protections further.

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Doctors told her that chemicals in the cleaning products were endangering her and her unborn child. This figure included women who opted for voluntary redundancy. The company at the time gave paid time off to workers with disabilities, but not to pregnant women. Skip to content. That suit, in New Jersey federal court, was brought by Kelli Smith, a Merck saleswoman who said her career was derailed when she got pregnant. The data in the pregnancy discrimination table reflect charges filed with EEOC and the state and local Fair Employment Practices Agencies around the country that have a work sharing agreement with the commission.

Pregnancy discrimination statistics

Pregnancy discrimination statistics

Pregnancy discrimination statistics

Pregnancy discrimination statistics

Pregnancy discrimination statistics

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Why Pregnancy Discrimination Still Matters

The mere possibility of pregnancy can be enough to worry potential employers to the point of hiring someone else — and the reality of it can cost working women needed and well-deserved jobs. Pregnancy discrimination is still very real -- and very widespread. The New York Times recently published an article profiling the real-life effects of pregnancy discrimination in light of the 40 th anniversary of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, and the picture it paints — over the course of five profiles of women who have been harmed by this particular form of discrimination — is bleak: one of economic dislocation, of careers derailed, and of careers destroyed.

And those five women are representative of the larger reality of pregnancy discrimination in flagrant, overt, and often pettily used to target women for termination over requests for accommodations that would be met in virtually any other circumstance.

Hi Gillian. Thank you so much for agreeing to speak about this critical issue. Although overt policies prohibiting workers from becoming pregnant no longer exist — though they were quite common prior to the PDA's passage — pregnancy discrimination can still manifest in myriad ways. There is what you might call "classic" discrimination, as in, you inform your boss on a Monday that you're pregnant, and you're fired on Tuesday. Incredibly, this still occurs quite frequently, especially for workers of color.

A corollary to this is when an employer is quite open about their stereotypical views regarding pregnant women's and new mothers' abilities and commitment to work — and sometimes even portraying them as benevolent concern — with statements like, "I figured that with a new one on the way you wouldn't want to work overtime" or "You'll fall in love with that baby and never come back to work. This can vary from being overtly sexual as in, suggestive comments about a woman's changing body or hostile calling a pregnant worker lazy or slow, or telling her repeatedly to get an abortion rather than burden the employer with her needs.

An especially common form of discrimination that persists, despite the Supreme Court having addressed the issue in in Young v. United Parcel Service , occurs when an employee's pregnancy conflicts in some way with her job duties. This generally arises for women in low-wage jobs with strenuous duties hotel housekeepers, staff in assisted living facilities, nurses, retail workers, hospitality workers or higher-wage workers in physically dangerous jobs, like firefighters or police officers.

Conversely, sometimes an employer will tell a pregnant worker she is a "liability" because of the physical requirements of the job, even if she is entirely capable of continuing to work, and remove her from her position. Sadly, forty years after the PDA became law, discrimination is still quite common. Between and , the U.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission saw a 50 percent increase in the number of pregnancy discrimination charges filed. The number of charges filed hasn't changed very much since then.

As to the question of accommodations, one study estimated that as many as a quarter of a million workers a year don't get the modifications they need to keep working safely. As the New York Times recently documented, the consequences of those denials can be extremely severe, including miscarriage. Are there any cases currently pending that could disrupt this phenomenon, considering the current makeup of the judicial system?

There are no cases currently in the pipeline to make it to the Supreme Court anytime soon. As to accommodation, 23 states and a number of cities have enacted laws that go further than federal law and require employers to accommodate pregnant workers in the same way they do disabled workers — namely, they must make it possible for the pregnant employee to keep working unless it would cause an "undue hardship" to the employer in terms of cost and other burdens. There is federal legislation on this issue — the Pregnant Worker Fairness Act — which has been pending for many years with bipartisan support and will be re-introduced in the new Congress.

What is the long-term impact of pregnancy discrimination on the women who suffer it? What kind of impact are we looking at? Pregnancy discrimination harms all workers because whenever there is a disruption to one's career — a period of unemployment, stalling rather than advancing — it hurts one's earning power.

Also, social science tells us there is outright bias against pregnant and parenting women. One recent study found that fathers receive a 6 percent increase in pay for every child, while mothers lose 4 percent in their wages for every child.

In the immediate term, though, being forced out of work because of pregnancy can be crippling, financially. Even if a worker is lucky enough to be covered by the FMLA — she needs to have worked for a company full-time for a year, and the company has to have at least 50 employees — if she is forced out early in her pregnancy, she will use up her twelve weeks of unpaid leave before she even gives birth, and she will be fired for absenteeism.

We currently are involved in an appeal where this occurred to a certified nursing assistant. If a worker is not covered by the FMLA, then she has no safety net at all. We had a client who became homeless as a result of her inability to keep working on an assembly line during her pregnancy.

We have even seen employers contest pregnant workers' requests for unemployment benefits, such as where a number of pregnancy-related absences caused the pregnant worker to be discharged. This is obviously one of many areas where women are systematically discriminated against in hiring, firing, and promotion, even in self-consciously progressive businesses. That's an excellent question. My personal opinion is that although motherhood is revered in our culture, the physical reality of what it takes to become a mother is viewed through a shockingly punitive lens.

I'm not unsympathetic to those realities, but with a collective commitment to treating pregnancy as a normal condition of employment — just like family obligations, illnesses, injuries, and other realities of the human condition — there is a way forward. I should note that studies show that employers that treat workers with respect when it comes to a pregnancy and other conditions that require some temporary adjustments earn back the cost many times over in retention and loyalty.

How can women combat pregnancy discrimination when they encounter it in their own lives? How can women in these situations advocate for themselves? The best tactics are to a be up front with supervisors about your needs and their expectations during a pregnancy — and coming armed with a plan such as who will cover your work during your leave is a proactive way to approach the discussion, and b be vigilant to comments or changes in behavior that signal a biased response to the pregnancy.

Once those warning signs appear, keeping good records of incidents and memorializing conversations in an email — say, about what your job duties will be upon return from leave — are important ways of covering your bases. Watch how employees who have other temporary physical impairments or other reasons they can't work at full duty are treated; discrimination is often revealed in unequal application of employer policies.

Arm yourself with knowledge: check out www. There are a number of online resources that can help with practical solutions, and the ACLU website includes some as well.

I also recommend www. We hear a lot about how pregnancy inconveniences employers, especially smaller employers. I am a global CEO, entrepreneur, business leader, linguaphile, philanthropist, feminist, and mother. After living, studying, and working in five countries across the glo Photo by freestocks. Liz Elting.

Pregnancy discrimination statistics