Pregnancy in the workplace

First I would like to talk about how the workplace views pregnancy. Pregnancy is typically frowned open in the workplace. Most employers would prefer for their employees to not be pregnant. It is very popular for women to be fired or on unpaid leave when they become pregnant. This is another way women are oppressed. It is hard enough for women to find jobs and to get pregnant and be fired is not only stressful but it is also discriminatory. However it is not against the law which it should be. There are no laws stating that the employer had to accommodate a pregnant woman without a doctor’s excuse. This is ridiculous. The second and most important thing I would like to discuss would be breastfeeding. Most jobs do not accommodate a woman who is breastfeeding. There are no designated places for a woman to breastfeed. ETSU just recently designated a place however I’ve noticed there are no changing stations in the bathroom. But that is neither here or there. Point is woman are limited to specific lines of work during pregnancy and if a woman is a breastfeeding they would probably have to cut their breaks and lunch short to pump bottles. This is oppressing women because once again it limits their opportunities. Employers are basically making a woman chose between breastfeeding and work. It is nearly impossible for a woman to continue to breastfeed while maintaining a full-time job. There are disability laws to accommodate pregnant women but there are no laws to accommodate breastfeeding mothers. There needs to be a designated area for breastfeeding mothers and this can be done without harming the company. This would be a huge step for woman. The designated area should be secure and made comfortable for women. Since paternity leave in most workplaces is only six weeks and most woman breastfeed longer than six weeks, makes a woman chose between returning to work or breastfeeding.  Oppression toward woman is very typical and a lot of people do not realize how the workplace plays a role on that oppression. This issue needs to be addressed and there should be laws out their protecting breastfeeding mothers. I was actually laid off due to my pregnancy and there was no way around it. My employer came up with this BS compliant and used it to fire me. I could not collect unemployment and I was left to dry. A change must be made and it must be made quickly. Women should have the luxury of being mothers and employees.

By:Nicole Peck

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