Thursday, Sep 27, 2012, 6:28 pm
A Bill to Make Employers Less Mean to Pregnant Women
Whatever Our political conflicts, we can generally agree that we should treat pregnant women nicely. We don't hesitate to help them carry their groceries or give them a seat on the bus. Yet when pregnancy comes up as a political issue, lawmakers are far more fixated on what an expecting mom's womb is doing, rather than her hands--as she slips the check under your plate and hopes for a decent tip--or her mind--as she loses sleep wondering whether she’ll lose her job as her due date nears.
Under current law, it's easy for bosses to mistreat pregnant women or force them off the job. Yet the men who run Congress are too busy sponsoring anti-abortion bills and slashing social programs, it seems, to protect pregnant women in the workplace. One of the many labor bills left off the congressional radar is the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, (PWFA) which would help prevent pregnant women from being arbitrarily fired and make employers better accommodate them.
Michelle Chen is a contributing editor at In These Times, a contributor to Working In These Times, and an editor at CultureStrike. She is also a co-producer of Asia Pacific Forum on Pacifica's WBAI. Her work has appeared on Alternet, Colorlines.com, Ms., and The Nation, Newsday, and her old zine, cain. Follow her on Twitter at @meeshellchen.
More by Michelle Chen
- DACA Was Won By a Vibrant Movement of Immigrant Youth. Now, That Movement Will Rally to Defend It.
- Locking Kids in Jail for Misbehavior Isn’t Just Unfair—It’s Abuse
- The Philippine Labor Movement Is Beginning to Turn Against Authoritarian Rule
- Unpredictable and Brutal ICE Raids Are Allowing Trump to Rule by Fear
- This May Day, Don’t Go to Work, Take to the Streets and Strike