We recently wrote about the employment discrimination that pregnant women face. What the dispute actually represents is discrimination against Indiana caregivers that are both trying to raise their children and hold onto a job. Both pregnant women and caregivers face harassment, hostility on the job, job termination, and decreasing work hours.
The Family and Medical Leave Act that was passed more than 30-years ago had been implemented to prevent such discrimination from taking place. However, according the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), such discrimination is nearly prevalent today as it ever was.
A pregnant woman was forced to take leave because the work uniform no longer fit. Women working low wage jobs with inflexible schedules often find themselves out of work when family matters arose. Women on average earn 5 percent less than men for each child that they have. And men that are caretakers are frequently punished for taking time off to care for a family member as such tasks are viewed as “women’s work.”
What this says is that legislation in itself will not prevent discrimination from occurring, and often those discriminated against have no other recourse than to consult with an attorney experienced in employment discrimination disputes. Everyone would prefer to avoid litigation, but the prospect of losing a job while at the same time trying to raise a family would be something that almost no one can afford while dealing with this economy.
The stereotype concerning who should and should not care for the family continues. It continues despite the fact that women now make up approximately half of the labor force and though both parents need to pool their income for the family to survive.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, “Workplace Discrimination for Caregivers: A reality,” Feb. 16, 2012