In addition to commanding $220,000.00 per episode, when Homeland’s star Claire Danes became pregnant while shooting the acclaimed television series, the producers bent over backwards to ensure that Danes’ real-life pregnancy didn’t interfere with her ability to believably play the very-unlikely-to-be-pregnant Carrie Mathison, her pill-popping central intelligence spy character on the show. How will you fare when it’s your time to tell your employer you’re having a baby? Unfortunately, the law’s not on your side. Neither the Pregnancy Discrimination Act nor the Family and Medical Leave Act require your employer to make any “reasonable accommodation” for you during your pregnancy, so if you work in a state or city that does not provide additional protection and you cannot perform all the essential functions of your job throughout the entire 9 months of your pregnancy, your boss doesn’t have to be flexible and understanding. You can be fired for taking too many bathroom breaks. If you need a hand at work due to your pregnant condition, you can be forced to go out on disability leave before your baby is born, and if you’re out too long, you can be fired. They’re not required to be human beings and they’re not required to do the right thing.
The Pregnant Worker’s Fairness Act was introduced to the Senate and the House last September but has yet to make it out of committee, as like the Paycheck Fairness Act that was blocked by Republican men who value women far less than corporate campaign contributions, it stands little chance of making it out of subcommittee let alone surviving a full congressional vote.
Call your representative and senator and let your voice be heard on women’s right in the workplace issues. Tell them it’s about time they walk their “family values” talk and protect pregnant women from workplace discrimination by voting yes for fairness for pregnant workers.