by: Valerie Jarrett
More than 30 years ago, Congress wisely passed the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Yet today, many pregnant women still experience unfair and unnecessary challenges on the job.
Nondiscrimination has been the law of the land for over three decades, yet, in some workplaces, the standard for treatment of pregnant women has remained in the dark ages. Some are fired or demoted, with no hesitation, when a modest accommodation would allow them to continue to work and support their families.
The stories are heart-wrenching and preventable. There's thepregnant woman who was terminated when, in violation of company policy, she started carrying a water bottle on advice of her doctor to fight urinary and bladder infections.
That's why this week, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued much-needed enforcement guidance on pregnancy discrimination. It is the first comprehensive update of the commission's guidance in more than 30 years and will translate into real relief for countless women, especially low-income women who are working hard to support their families.