Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren was the center of great controversy in recent days when she told social networks that during her youth she was a victim of job discrimination because she was pregnant. Although many have questioned the truthfulness of their story, there is no doubt that it served as an inspiration for many other women to be encouraged to tell theirs.
“When I was 22 years old and finished my first year as a teacher, I had an experience with which millions of women will be identified,” Warren wrote at the beginning of a tweet in which he recounts how the school principal told him that the position he had been given offered for next year would go to someone else.
“This was in 1971, years before Congress banned discrimination against pregnant women, but we know that it still occurs in subtle and non-subtle ways. But we can defend ourselves told our stories (…) I hope to hear yours, ”he added.RELATED
The answers did not wait in his timeline that until Thursday afternoon recorded 2,400 comments and 40,000 likes.
“In 2015 they offered me the job of my dreams and I thought that during the interview process they knew I was pregnant. I accepted happily, but when I asked what the maternity leave arrangement would be months later, they withdrew the job offer. I was discouraged and thought to sue, but it was very complicated, ”Christy Powell tweeted.
“In this decade I informed my boss about my pregnancy shortly after starting a new position. The first thing he told me was that he wished he had told him before, followed by whether he planned to have the baby and was not even married, ”Brett Lacy said.
A similar outrage was expressed by someone with Melanie's nickname when writing: “In 2017 they told me that I would not be promoted because I was pregnant and it would take me too much free time to be with my baby, which I later lost at nine months of pregnancy. The boss who did not congratulate me at the beginning immediately asked me when I planned to return. ”
Journalist Soledad O'Brien also confessed that the same thing happened to her as to Warren: “My anchor job when I was pregnant for the first time was given to another anchor. I had to find a lawyer to help me. That was in the year 2000, ”he said.
There were women who admitted that even to be selected in jobs they decide to omit details of their personal life: "I still go to job interviews without a married ring for this reason," someone tweeted with the nickname of Garret.
And men like the 60-minute program journalist, John Dickerson, joined the conversation: “My mother had to hide under the desk when she was pregnant with me. When the impulses of biology arrived and I arrived in this world, the viewers were amazed to learn that she had been pregnant for the past nine months that they had been watching her, ”he said.
Illegal yes, eliminated no
Until 1978 in the US there was no legal instrument to prevent an employer from taking retaliation or deteriorating the conditions of pregnant women.
That year all that changed – at least on paper – with the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which in theory protects future mothers from being fired for this reason. But, as the tweets in Warren's timeline show, millions of women continue to suffer from worse professionalism simply by carrying a baby in their womb or even having the potential to become mothers one day.
"Friends, women are still fired or not fully hired simply for looking as if they can one day get pregnant," @summerbrennan wrote on the social network. Some are not considered for promotions or salary increases, others are dismissed for complaining or demanding their rights.
A research from the University of Massachusetts found that women lose 4% of salary for each child they have, in contrast to men whose income goes up by 6% when they become parents.
And discrimination permeates professions of all kinds, as an exhaustive New York Times investigation shows that even the largest companies put brakes on mothers.
The wage disparity, which is known in English by motherhood wage penalty, is even more dramatic for women who belong to minorities such as African-Americans and Hispanics.
An analysis by the Center for American Progress reveals that while White earns 71 cents for every dollar that salary parents receive, the gap is even greater for Latinas and women of color who receive half a cent for every dollar of parental salary .
To defend against such injustices, mothers do not have many options. The first is to introduce a complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), as some 2,700 women did in 2018. But that does not necessarily translate into favorable results: 60% of those complaints are dismissed for not having "reasonable cause" according to the commission warns an article in the Washington Post.
Another option is to sue, but it takes a lot of time and money, two things that don't abound for mothers either.
For many experts in the field, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act fell short and that is why they advocate that Congress approve the so-called Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which provides more protections and accommodations for pregnant women in their jobs. Some states have already approved additional protections for pregnant women.
In the interim, if you have doubts about your rights or if you think you are being a victim of discrimination, you can contact the A Better Balance organization on line 1-833-NEED ABB to receive free and confidential guidance about your rights. Also check this EEOC link.
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