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Pregnancy discrimination subject receives little attention

The subject of pregnancy in the workplace has not received much attention in the current presidential election. Nonetheless, pregnancy discrimination on the job remains a real issue for women in Texas and other states. Fortunately, those who experience this type of discrimination retain the right to take legal action against their employers.

The number of charges related to pregnancy has significantly decreased since the enactment of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act in 1978. However, in the fiscal year of 2013, more than 5,000 charges of discrimination related to pregnancy were filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as well as with local and state agencies that promote fair employment practices. This is an increase from the over 3,900 charges filed back in 1997.

In 2014, lawsuits related to discrimination against pregnant women made up nearly 20 percent of the EEOC's suits. Statistics further show that almost 75 percent of cases involving this type of discrimination originated from workers in salaried or hourly job roles with less security -- for instance, home health aides or waitresses. This is in line with research studies that show that half of claims actually come from people who are employed in industries that are predominately female, such as teaching and nursing.

Research also shows that a majority of pregnancy discrimination cases involve women who work in lower managerial jobs or clerical jobs that do not require college degrees. No matter the role in which a woman works in Texas, she does not to have accept poor treatment simply because she is pregnant. Anyone facing discrimination on the basis of pregnancy has the right to file a claim, which -- if fought successfully -- may lead to remedies such as the reinstatement of a job depending on the circumstances surrounding the case.

Source: rawstory.com, "Why silence continues to surround pregnancy discrimination in the workplace", Aug. 24, 2016

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