The Pregnancy Discrimination Act is supposed to protect female employees in their place of work. Unfortunately, recent reports show that these protections often fall far short of where they should be. Many Wisconsin employers could not only be engaged in workplace discrimination, but it could also be putting the health of their pregnant workers at risk.
The New York Times ran a story that featured the stories of several women who had suffered from pregnancy loss because of their employers’ demands. These demands included requiring these women to continue working long hours in strenuous conditions despite knowledge of their conditions. At a single out-of-state warehouse in 2014, four women suffered miscarriages because the employer refused to comply with the doctor’s notes they brought in.
This may be in part due to the outdated nature of the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Although some lawmakers have proposed updates to the federal law over the years, none have ever been implemented, leaving pregnant women without vital protections in the workplace. Just how little protection are women getting? According to the law as it stands in 2018, a company only has to provide accommodations to a pregnant worker if another worker with a similar condition is already receiving those same accommodations.
As Wisconsin women continue to face ongoing acts of workplace discrimination, their health and the lives of their future children are at risk. Although it may feel uncomfortable to take action against a current or former employer, doing so is often a good idea. Successful civil claims can achieve necessary financial compensation while also forcing employers to implement vital workplace changes.