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Pregnancy discrimination in the workplace is still considered one of the most significant problems for many workers in this country. Despite the passage of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, legal firms across the country continue to report clients who approach them for help in resolving problems with their employers due to their pregnancies. A. Harrison Barnes, founder of Law Crossing and author of “The Importance of Fitting In” says discrimination is not something anyone in the workforce should have to “deal with” in order to fit in. Discrimination of any kind is illegal and employees do have legal recourse. In fact, many of the law firms that are a part of the Law Crossing family handle discrimination cases on a daily basis. The number of new lawyers just entering the legal field reveals the importance of eradicating discrimination as a whole in the workforce.

Another problem A. Harrison Barnes says makes the problem even more difficult is so many workers simply don’t know what defines pregnancy discrimination.

Federal guidelines define pregnancy discrimination as:

(1) During an interview, the employer asks a female applicant how many children she has and if she intends to get pregnant again. If she reveals she is currently pregnant, the employer tells her to come back “after she’s had the baby”.

(2) A female worker reveals to her employer she is currently pregnant and then is fired, even if she can continue to work.

(2) A pregnant worker asks management if someone else can lift heavy boxes only to be told her job duties will not change, even if other workers are given additional help for medical reasons.

(3) A pregnant worker is declined when asking for time off for prenatal care such as doctor’s appointments.

Pregnancy discrimination also includes the refusal to hire a pregnant applicant because of the pregnancy, discharging or demoting a pregnant employee, refusal to allow a woman to return to her job after having given birth and unfair treatment during pregnancy when other employees are allowed certain liberties during temporary disabilities.

With so many recently graduated lawyers focusing their talents and education on ensuring the rights of employees, the hope is one day, discrimination of any kind will be a thing of the past. Some of the busiest law firms, unfortunately, in this country are the ones who handle discrimination cases, and each day, Law Crossing puts these lawyers in touch with the law firms that will allow them to move forward in an effort to take on employers who justify discrimination on any level. In an ideal world, discrimination – whether it’s sexual, pregnancy or even racial – simply would not exist; however, reality tells a far different story. This country’s best defense against unfair and illegal treatment is with our educated legal minds who work on a daily basis to eradicate this social problem.

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