Key Women Issues

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Research Paper
Key Women’s Issues:
Pregnancy Discrimination, Pay Equity, and the Glass Ceiling

Alfreda Grinder, BS
HRMG 5000 Managing Human Resources
Fall I

Instructor: Mr. Tony Denkins
October 5, 2010
Since the days of Roe v. Wade, women in the United States have made great gains in many ways in society. Two consecutive presidential administrations women have serviced as Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Condoles Rice. We are seeing rising female political stars of recent, two progressive female nominees of President Obama were recently ratified to the Supreme Court. Pepsi Cola, Hewlett Packard, Budweiser of Pepin Company has all had women Chief Executive Officers. However, with all of the gains of individual women, deeply entrenched sociological obstacles to full participation in society still exist. Most important among these women’s issues are pregnancy discrimination, pay equity, and the glass ceiling. While your family and you may find your new pregnancy to be joyous news, breaking the news to their employer may be difficult to some women. Fortunately, in the United States women are protected in the workplace against pregnancy discrimination by state and federal laws. Pregnancy has been deemed a “temporary disability” by the Federal government, and employers are required to treat it as such. A new pregnancy will take some getting used to, and women may have to test the flexibility of her employer to see how well their pregnancy will be accommodated. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which includes the subsequent Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (PDA), protects against this form of sex discrimination. The employer cannot ask a potential employee if she is currently pregnant in the interview stage, or are they planning to become pregnant in the future. The employer cannot refuse to hire her based on if she is pregnant. For current employees, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act protects pregnant women from being demoted or fired, refusing medical insurance coverage to a pregnant spouse if other spouses are covered, being treated differently than other employees without their consent, due to scheduled doctor visits being penalized for sick days or missed work. Denying a job after returning from maternity leave, on the other hand. If the employer has fewer than 15 employees, there are some restrictions on this protection; in addiction, some states have different requirements. The Family Leave Act of 1993 ensures that any employee, who has worked at their company for twelve months, of at least 50 employees or more, can retain their job after a twelve-week unpaid leave, for any serious condition, including pregnancy. Men can also benefit from the Family Leave Act by using it to care for a new baby or spouse who has just had a baby. This can also vary from state to state, and if your leave is paid or unpaid, your company will determine. http://www.pregnancyetc.com/pregnancy-discrimination.htm

State and Federal laws make sure that Americans are able to have children without losing their jobs. Discrimination against you because you are pregnant violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Employers, who have at least 15 workers under this law, are not allowed to: ▪ Refuse to hire a woman because of pregnancy; or

▪ Fire or refuse to hire a woman because she has an abortion; or ▪ Take away credit for previous years, accrued retirement benefits, or seniority because of maternity leave; or ▪ Fire or force a worker to leave because she is pregnant. As long as you are able to do your job, you must be allowed to keep working. Your supervisor cannot make a rule about how long you must stay out of work before or after childbirth. Your company may be discriminating against pregnant workers, if it does not offer sick leave. Your employer must treat you at least as well as she/he treats other workers who cannot do their jobs...
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