This week’s the 40th anniversary of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act – the 1978 federal law designed and enacted to protect women who become pregnant while working, from being fired while pregnant and working.
Here’s one thing all pregnant working women in the United States now have in every State in the Union, and that’s the right not to be treated differently, not to experience hostility, backlash, a diminution, a degradation to the terms or the conditions or the privileges of your employment because of your pregnancy, because of your childbirth, or because of a related medical condition.
If you’re struggling with work-related, pregnancy related challenges while you’re working, just understand that it is illegal even if your employer doesn’t know it. And don’t give up, don’t despair.
Your company must have a conversation with you about your needs when you’re pregnant, and it has to “reasonably accommodate” you – that’s the phrase for having a little flexibility when you are pregnant.
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. Many of the country’s largest and most prestigious companies still systematically sideline pregnant women. They pass them over for promotions and raises. They fire them when they complain.