Firing Pregnant Women in a Recession?

What if I told you, that you could lose your job? In today’s economy that would seem probable. Now, what if I told you that if you were pregnant your chance of losing your job is even higher? Most people would say that is impossible, no work place would fire a pregnant woman, its inhuman! Well guess what folks, it’s happening right here in America. According to the New York Times, during the past year pregnant women who have lost their jobs have risen by over 50%. How could this be? The simple reason is that it is illegal for a workplace to fire a woman on the grounds of pregnancy, but that doesn’t mean the employer will declare that in the official records. Employers are avoiding maternity costs and benefits by targeting pregnant women and finding other excuses to lay off their pregnant employees. Now, where is the justice in that?! Here is another problem; the woman can’t apply for unemployment because…you have to be actively looking for a job; if you are in the last months of pregnancy that becomes very difficult. How much lower can a society or group of people sink? Targeting people for layoffs just because they are pregnant, so I ask even though employers want to maximize profits is avoiding maternity benefits really the most moral way to lower costs? Because it seems to me that it’s just another form of workplace discrimination against women.

—by MGH

3 thoughts on “Firing Pregnant Women in a Recession?

  1. JSS says:

    Not only is it wrong, it is going to come back and bite these companies in their cost spreadsheet over time. I have been doing a lot of research in flexible employment options and pro-family policies lately and there are many, many reports coming back that insist companies SAVE more money if they can be flexible in work arrangements and also offer benefits for mothers and fathers to meet family responsibilities. Europe is significantly ahead of the US on this but many corporate consultation firms are advising US companies to get with the program and embrace flexibility in the work force.

    What really bothers me is when I talk to other mothers about pregnancy discrimination and they see nothing wrong with it – to them, of course a pregnant women should be discriminated against in the work place because she will be DISTRACTED when her baby comes and she can’t ask her employer to be flexible because of HER CHOICE. Sometimes we are our own worst enemy ladies.

  2. sms says:

    Pregnancy discrimination is also the only form of discrimination that has continued to rise every year since it was officially recognized almost 15 year ago. Each financial crisis causes another boom in the discrimination cases. And not only are they the fastest rising form of discrimination, they also are the most vulnerable in resolutions. Pregnant women are the least likely to solve their cases in court, and this leads to the smallest reconciliation payments of all the forms of discrimination. It is just horendous that as a society we are ok with this.

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