Women have historically been underrepresented in senior management and executive-level positions. They typically earn less than men and are also regularly faced with sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination. Sexual harassment against women has recently been in the spotlight due to the #MeToo Movement. The maternal wall metaphor, the idea that a woman will eventually become pregnant and leave their position or become less productive after giving birth, has also been notorious for inhibiting women to further their careers or subjects them to lower paying positions and jobs.
Like the maternal wall, the glass ceiling metaphor also inhibits women in the workplace from advancing to higher-paying and authoritative positions. Both metaphors strain women of all ages from career advancement and initiate conversations about how severe sexual harassment and discrimination can be in the workplace. The #MeToo Movement has proven that sexual harassment and abuse in this country, particularly in the workplace, is still prevalent across all job sectors and industries.
Indeed, sexual harassment and abuse affect women vastly; however, pregnancy discrimination against women is just as widespread. Workplace accommodations for pregnant women, like parental leave policies and lactation rooms, are not cutting it. In fact, The New York Times released an article revealing the many women who have been discriminated against, overlooked for promotions and salary increases, or terminated if they complained about their physically-demanding jobs.
Congress has made efforts to thwart sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination against women with various legislation:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 eliminates sexual discrimination in the workplace
- Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 prohibits sex discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions
- Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 includes impairments resulting pregnancy as a disability
- Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 requires employers to provide employees with unpaid leave for qualified medical and family reasons
The enactment of these laws is certainly necessary; however, the #MeToo Movement and recent articles demonstrate that a shift in cultural norms and assumptions about women in the workplace must take place to truly eliminate sexual harassment, abuse, and pregnancy discrimination.
Continue the Dialogue
The momentum and results of the #MeToo Movement is essential to impacting discrimination against women. Cultural change is best achieved when there is meaningful dialogue that raises awareness about the problem, an understanding of the root cause, a purposeful plan to address the issues, and extensive support for change.
Cherry Hill Pregnancy Discrimination Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Fight for the Rights of Pregnant Women in the Workplace
If you have been discriminated against due to your pregnancy status, contact a Cherry Hill pregnancy discrimination lawyer at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. for representation. We will fight for your rights and obtain the compensation you deserve. Conveniently located in Philadelphia, we represent clients from the surrounding areas, including Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and throughout the state of New Jersey. Call us today at 215-569-1999 or contact us online for a free consultation.