Have you ever heard a woman exclaim happiness at finding out
she will be a mother just to hear her say in the next breath, “What am I going
to do about work?”. Unfortunately,
millions of women are torn between motherhood and employment. The two just don’t mix evenly. The only people on earth that can have a baby
are women. A man can’t conceive, grow
and nurture a child in his body for 9 months.
So why do they get to make all the rules? The 21st Century has seen an
increase in women in non-traditional jobs, especially in the Trades. These women need protections to create our
future generations in America. The
Pregnant Workers Fairness Act can help women find physical support, relieve
taxpayer burdens and create a stable future for employers.
1978 Laws Outdated
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 created equality while
outlawing discrimination. But pregnancy
always creates inequality as pregnant women’s physical abilities change nearly
immediately. Pregnant women need special
accommodations. It’s not special since some
accommodations are normal in pregnancies which only one gender can
operate. The 1978 law does not provide
for these accommodations which include but are not limited to: frequent
bathroom breaks, removal from physically strenuous jobs, allowing women to sit
at their jobs, rest periods, extra eating periods/breaks and light duty. There are numerous stories circulating the
workplace of women being forced to resign, take early maternity/FMLA leave and
being fired. These options create an imbalanced
workforce based on gender needs. The
newest law, includes reasonable accommodations for women so our American
economy can continue to rise.
Accommodations Decrease Taxpayer Costs
As single motherhood rises to over 25% of American homes, women
working is a priority for our national economy. Women buy the food, pay the rent/mortgage and
all other costs of raising children.
When they are not protected at work and lose their jobs, Uncle Sam
becomes the new paycheck. Uncle Sam will
then pay the daycare provider while mom waddles through town for a job, send
out a shiny new foodstamp card, pay the gas and electric through local and
federal grants, and much more. Taxpayers
would save the prenatal and post-natal hospitalization and delivery which averages
$70 to $150 per month
for formula, and $50 a month for clothes
(babies need new sixes every 2-3 months).
Let’s not forget the other children in the house and their needs. What if mom has post-delivery medical
issues? The hook into taxpayers is in
the tens of thousands. When women work,
the economy works.
High Turnover Hurts Everyone
Our economic machine is well oiled by hard working people of
all genders and in all shapes, sizes and conditions. When a companies turnover increases so do their
costs of operations. The EEOC reviewed 31,000
pregnancy related complaints between 2010 and 2015. African-American women had
the highest percentage of complaints, nearly 30%,
but are only 14% of the working population. The
American people pay the EEOC millions in staffing, court costs and
facilities. Companies lose profits and
stability as well. The cost
to hire and train employees varies but averages nearly $3,400 for a minimum
wage worker to $8,000 for a $40,000 a year manager. Pregnancy
discrimination just doesn’t pay, it costs.
These are but a few of the reasons to protect pregnant
working women. Call your Congressional
and local representatives to tell them to support the Pregnant Workers Fairness
Act. For more information go to the National
Women’s Law Center.