While books like What to Expect When You’re Expecting aim to prepare women for the physiological and emotional aspects of pregnancy, there are many things that we wish you did not have to expect when you are expecting. Among these is the likelihood of discrimination in the workplace.
Unfortunatley, many women are unfairly treated on the job or while looking for work because they are pregnant or because an employer thinks they are likely to become pregnant. While NAPW's work does not focus on pregnancy related employment discrimination, NAPW has created a Guide to highlight several key legal areas relating to pregnancy discrimination in employment, acknowledge that many women may not be protected by existing laws, provides a summary of your rights, some strategies about how to pursue your rights, contact information for sister organizations that specialize in workplace discrimination issues, and groups that are organizing to demand better protection for the millions of pregnant and parenting women whose rights are not protected under existing laws.
Despite the many issues affecting women's health and lives, bills to further restrict abortion are likely to be the primary focus of your legislature's session this year. As a result of this extensive attention to this one aspect of pregnant women's lives, chances are that your state legislature will not address many other health issues of concern to pregnant women and mothers — not breast cancer nor heart disease, not the lack of health insurance for millions of women and children nor the lack of access to mother-friendly childbirth. Here are some suggestions for action you and your state can take to ensure that policies to advance a culture of life, values the women who give that life: