While most California parents are not senators, they may understand the struggles of trying to raise a child. A senator representing the state of Illinois is set to give birth soon, and she could be forced to skip work because of Senate rules. These rules stop a person from voting unless he or she is physically present, and children are prevented from being on the floor of the Senate.
Those who are pregnant often face discrimination from employers despite the presence of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. New parents can continue to struggle at work after a child is born as well. Most companies don’t provide places for mothers to pump breast milk in a safe manner. Furthermore, many companies don’t offer paid leave of any kind. Although the Family Medical Leave Act offers employees 12 weeks of unpaid leave, only 60 percent of Americans are eligible to take it.
As a general rule, men are unable to take parental leave, which results in women being the primary caregivers. Whether a person works in government or for a private employer, it may be time for employers to reconsider their stances on pregnant workers and parents. Ideally, companies will create new policies that allow parents to care for their children while also being productive members of the workforce if they are willing and able to do both.
If employers treat pregnant workers or anyone else with a disability differently from their colleagues, that could be considered a violation of employment law. An employee who is treated differently because of a disability may be entitled to file a workplace discrimination claim with the EEOC or a lawsuit against an employer. If the claim is successful, a worker might receive financial compensation.