Importance of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act

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Women in today’s society want to have a career as well as a family, but there was a time when if a woman became pregnant, she had to quit her job. There was also the possibility of being fired by her employer once they knew she was pregnant. Many women kept their pregnancies a secret for as long as they could just to hold onto a job. This is starting to become an uncommon practice. Women are continually entering the workforce in numerous areas with the same potential and qualifications as their male counterparts. For women, trying to find employment while being pregnant can be extremely frustrating and difficult. Sadly, a woman’s odds of being hired while pregnant are slim to none even though the firing practice is uncommon. Women have a fundamental right to have a family as well as a career. This is where the Pregnancy Discrimination Act comes into play. This paper will discuss the importance of this act and how it should be properly used. Explanation of the Act and Its History The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 is an amendment to the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commision, 2008). Under the act, an employer cannot legally refuse to hire a woman if she is pregnant unless her condition makes it impossible for her to perform the major functions of the position. It is illegal for an employer of 15 or more employees, to discriminate against a person because of pregnancy, childbirth, or pregnancy-related conditions (The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2014). This means that employers must treat pregnancy the same way they treat any other temporary medical disability. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act does not require favored treatment for pregnant employees. The act... ... middle of paper ... ...omen if childbearing ages in the workplace. It will allow women to have families without fear of losing their jobs. This will help relieve the financial burden and the stress for the family. Conclusion Employers, managers, and Human Resources professionals must be aware of potential pregnancy discrimination issues in their organization. They need to be aware of these issues before they even arise. It is almost certain that an organization will deal with pregnancy discrimination issues, especially with more women obtaining careers. It is important to remember that pregnant employees are entitled to the same rights as non-pregnant employees. It is important for companies to promote equal employment opportunities for women. They need to guarantee them the right to contribute equally in the workplace without punishing them for exercising their right to have a family.

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