Thursday, January 11, 2007

Pregnant and fired: A rising trend?

It seems like people simply need to have someone to discriminate against. As workplace sexual harassment and racial bias suits are decreasing, pregnancy-discrimination claims have risen 14% since 2000.

/>Fromm the Charlotte Observer:

Hives erupted across her torso. Her hands swelled to fleshy catcher's mitts. Jennifer Walls, about four weeks pregnant and in a panic, rushed to the hospital emergency room.

The doctor said her pregnancy triggered the skin condition. He gave her steroids and ordered the then-34-year-old mother-to-be to stay home.

She returned to work within a couple of weeks. Four months after that trip to the hospital, Transamerica Occidental Life Insurance Co. in Charlotte fired Walls. The reason: She allegedly lied about calling the help desk to report a computer problem while on a business trip.


In Canada, and especially here in Quebec, the protection against pregnancy discrimination is strong. The federal and provincial governments have instituted paid maternity leave (up to 1 year, some of which can be shared by both parents). Having these programs institutionalized keeps pregnancy/maternity on the forefront of many people's minds and employers are acutely aware of the problems that they will encounter if they pull anything. Of course, this does not prevent discrimination from occurring and many women are still afraid to speak up for fear of losing their current job or having trouble finding another.

The article does include some hope though; the percentage of pregnancy-discrimination cases where the victim wins has increased over the years.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

powered by performancing firefox

No comments: