To many, it may sound like something from a TV show about the mid-20th century. But to California attorneys who work on discrimination cases, and to women who have suffered from this discrimination, it’s still a very 21st-century problem. Women still get fired for being pregnant.
Pregnant workers aren’t going away. Almost half of American workers are women, and about 85 percent of women become mothers. As a reminder of the problem and the remedies available to you if you face it, let’s look at couple recent press reports about accusations of pregnancy discrimination.
Prestigious streaming service accused
Thanks to the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, it’s a federal crime commit employment discriminate against pregnant people. And yet, on average, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission records more than 3,500 such complaints annually over the past decade.
California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing received 1,002 pregnancy discrimination complaints in 2017.
One of the largest cable streaming-content providers was recently sued by an executive who claims her boss became angry when she announced she was pregnant and would avail herself of the company’s advertised maternity leave. She was encouraged to quit or transfer to another department until she was fired without explanation, the lawsuit alleges.
Warehouse workers file discrimination suits
Concerns about pregnancy discrimination are certainly not confined to high-paying prestigious executive positions. In fact, EEOC reports that about one-third of pregnancy discrimination complaints to the EEOC involve women working in retail, accommodation and food service, or administration. Many industries disproportionately employing women also disproportionately involve activities for which pregnancy requires accommodation.
CNET recently analyzed seven pregnancy discrimination lawsuits filed against a colossal online retailer.
One worker describes having the flu while pregnant. The emergency room doctor had difficulty detecting the bay’s heartbeat and advised her to take three days off from work. However, according to CNET’s reading her lawsuit, her human resources manager told her the colossal online retailer "does not accept doctor's notes," and she was fired four days later.