Siacriminacion

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  • Publicado : 20 de febrero de 2012
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) Feb 15 - More than three decades after Congress passed a law trying to protect pregnant women in the workplace, discrimination is still widespread and needs to be addressed withpublicity and clearer guidelines, according to testimony Wednesday at a federal hearing.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's legal counsel, Peggy Mastroianni, said the agency had resolved52,000 pregnancy cases since 2001, with $150.5 million paid out in damages.
Discrimination against pregnant women includes firing, forced leave without pay, being denied a place to pump breast milkand being barred from some work, witnesses told the five-member EEOC panel at a hearing on the issue.
Decades after the passage of the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act, discrimination ranges from theshop floor to the executive suite, with sexual stereotyping a major factor. It is found in every state, but is more likely to hit women in low-income jobs, they said.
"This many years after thePregnancy Discrimination Act, we still have employers who still don't understand the basics. Are we getting the word out on fundamental issues?" said Commissioner Constance Barker.
The issue of workplacediscrimination was highlighted two weeks ago when a federal judge in Texas ruled against a Houston mother who said she was fired after asking for a place to pump breast milk.
The EEOC helped litigatethe case. General Counsel David Lopez said the agency was weighing whether to appeal the ruling.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act forbids discrimination by employers based on pregnancy, includinghiring, firing, pay, job assignments and promotions. Under the law, pregnancy is considered a temporarily disabling condition.
Witnesses said overlapping laws and rules, such as the PregnancyDiscrimination Act, the 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act, had created gray areas that left employers uncertain about how to deal with pregnancy.
One issue was how to...
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