Wisconsin women who are pregnant, particularly those with low-wage jobs, often face discrimination by employers. According to a recent report by the National Women's Law Center, in spite of this type of employee pregnancy discrimination being illegal, many employers refuse to make basic accommodations for women who are pregnant. Based on information from the report, many workplaces are "hostile to employee flexibility."
In an effort to ensure that pregnant workers are protected, the NWLC is supporting a Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. The goal of the proposed legislation is to make the obligations of employers to pregnant women "clear and unambiguous." Additionally, states can help ensure that pregnant workers are protected by creating state regulations for employers; California has some of the strongest protections for these workers, and the state has seen a decline in pregnancy discrimination lawsuits in spite of a nationwide increase.
Until Wisconsin adopts similar state-level legislation, many pregnant woman may continue to face discrimination in their workplaces in spite of federal laws. An employment law attorney could help them understand their rights and ensure that they receive the legal protections they are owed by possibly filing a claim against their employer to hold them accountable and ensure fair treatment.
Source: CBS News, "Report: Pregnant workers face routine discrimination", Stephen Smith, June 18, 2013