Discrimination Against Pregnant Women In the Workplace

Pregnant!  Again!
Pregnant! Again!

I just finished watching a segment with Jon Stossel on 20/20 about an hour ago. I wasn't necessarily stunned by the issue of discrimination against pregnant women in the workforce, but what did surprise me was Carrie Lukas, VP of the Independent Women's Forum, who seemed to think that we should be OK with that. Apparently, according to Lukas, pregnant women slack because they may have to see the doctor once a month. Or maybe the pregnant women may need a day off here and there because they don't feel good. Well, at least they are taking time off for a good reason. Which is more than I can say for Moe over there who took a day off due to a nasty hangover.

Come on people, this is ridiculous. If we didn't have pregnant women, then where would we be??? EXTINCT! Companies, men and women alike need to thank pregnant women for going through what they're going through (because believe me, not all pregnancies are zen and beautiful, I know, I've gone through 3 of them).

But I guess all this really is a moot point for me. I'm from Canada after all and here in Canada, women are treated exceptionally well when it comes to pregnancy and parenting. Here, we are entitled to a whole 52 weeks of parental leave and we can split it with our husbands if we want to. On top of all that, you can return to work for just 3 months (to your old job by the way) and get pregnant again and have yet another 52 weeks and still be able to return to your old job. Now that's what I call appreciating the pregnant women. Cheers to Canada, a country who values pregnant women and recognizes their incredible contribution to life!

Should pregnant women be allowed to take time off and return to their old jobs after their mat leave?

  • of course!
  • no way!
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Comments 8 comments

amber 7 years ago

Sooo true. As a woman who was pregnant again when she returned from mat leave, I can certainly say I appreciate being a Canadian mama.

MotherHubber profile image

MotherHubber 7 years ago from Southern California

I knew I should have moved to Canada a long time ago. Wow. Great benefits!

This hits home with me, because I was a full-time University employee when I first became pregnant with my oldest child. I was reporting directly to the Chancellor of the University, who was a woman. She became very angry that I was pregnant, and told me that she hoped I knew what I was in for. Shortly thereafter, she had someone approach me about a position in a different department altogether. It was ridiculous.

There is a lot of discrimination in the workplace against pregnant women, and mothers of small children. I remember being a young professional woman and working long hours to cover for colleagues who had to attend back to school night, or tend to a sick kid. I never minded because I knew someday it would be my turn, and some recent college grad would pick up the slack for me. Too bad everone can't adopt this way of thinking.

You're right - we would be extinct without pregnant women! They should be paid extra! LOL

megs78 profile image

megs78 7 years ago from quebec Author

Hey Motherhubber,

Thanks for the comments. I don't know if Canada has an ulterior motive for their amazing benefits package (trying to increase our very tiny population for example) or what, but it works. I think the fact that women are able to share their mat leaves with their husbands may also be a reason why discrimination against pregnant women is less prevalent here. Don't quote me on that, but in my way of thinking it seems to just make sense.

Anyhow, thanks again for the input!

Marquita Bent 6 years ago

This may be true in some cases, but my family and I were traveling to Canada for Christmas from Atlanta, Ga to Toronto on 12-19-09 and like any other 7 month pregnant woman. I had to use the restroom very often and make multiple stops. Not knowing the area very well and how far apart the exit where due to closure of service stations on the 401 HWY from Windor to Toronto we stopped at exit 177a in London, Ontario at a Best Western Hotel (Stoneridge Inn) where they refused me from using the restroom because they do not let the public use their restrooms that are not staying at the hotel or paying for service. I did notify the clerk, whose name is Steve, that I was pregnat and he made a comment "I don't make the rules!" He then told me that I had to drive to the next exit to find a establishment that would let me use their restroom, Tim Hortons who asked no questions, just let me use their restroom. I found this rude and frustrating for me to have to drive extra miles holding my stomach to use the a restroom that I had no idea when was going to come up next. They may have places and services catered to pregnant women but Best Western on 177a on the 401 HWY does not do that.

megs78 profile image

megs78 6 years ago from quebec Author

Marquita, I agree that it was very rude what they did to you at that Best Western.

hiya24 6 years ago

I have to disagree about Canada being so favourable to pregnant women in the workplace. Sure we can get great mat leave, but what are we to do when our employer starts to cut our hours so that we no longer qualify for it? I am in Canada and have to say that it has been a nightmare for me lately since I work in the food industry and could not do the heavy lifting required so they transfered me to a different dept. Here they have drastically reduced my hours and I no longer am certain that I will have worked 600 hours in the year before baby is due.

Unfortunatly I find Canada just as unaccomadating as just about anywhere else.

megs78 profile image

megs78 6 years ago from quebec Author

That is just rotten! I know that its not perfect everywhere, but that is your employer doing that to you, not the government. You deserve that money because you pay into it and you should not be put into a position like that. Sorry that things are so difficult.

I myself have never had a problem with mat leave and getting my hours in, and usually my employers were very accommodating. My point in this article was that at LEAST, at the very least, Canada has a program for pregnant women, unlike in other countries where women are forced back to work after 4-6 weeks of giving birth or face losing their jobs. At least we have something here...at the very least...

again, sorry to hear about your troubles,



sandra rinck 6 years ago

I remember getting a lot of crap because I was completely hormonal and so incredibly uncomfortable at time because I had to stand for 8 hours a day and sitting was even worse for me.

In California, I took my leave two months before I had my baby because of complications so there really wasn't a choice and I returned to work a month after I had her. Here we only get 3 months, not a whole lot of time.

So I ended up quiting because I needed to go home and help my 'stupid' husband (x husband thank god!) handle the most minute things. Eventually, after a this happened a few times in the first month back at work, I as faced with the ultimatum.

They didn't say, it's the kid or work or anything like that but they did make me feel guilty about leaving work to go take care of my 1 month old child.

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