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  1. #1 What If Pregnancy Came With a Pink Slip? 
    What If Pregnancy Came With a Pink Slip?
    Critics Say Law Againat Firing Expectant Moms Makes Job Market Tougher for Women

    By JOHN STOSSEL and RUTH CHENETZ
    May 5, 2009

    Carrie Lukas, like many working moms, has had to deal with being pregnant at work. Lukas, a vice president at the Independent Women's Forum, often writes and speaks out about social issues. This past summer, Lukas became pregnant with her third child.

    "This will be my third maternity leave in four years, and it does mean that I have to take time off," said Lukas.

    Pregnancy leave is an ingrained feature of the American workplace, ensuring that women won't face termination for starting families. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act says it is illegal to fire, or not hire, a woman because she is pregnant.

    But moms like Lukas say the law has unintended consequences.

    "If my employer decides they no longer want me as an employee, then it should be their right to fire me," said Lukas. "I understand the desire for people to have the government step in and try to protect women, but there's real costs to government intervention."

    These costs are rarely talked about publicly. But it is just a fact that some employers avoid hiring people who fall into special, Congress-protected groups. After the Americans With Disabilities Act became law, it was assumed many more disabled people would enter the workplace, but a study by MIT economists found that employment actually "dropped sharply."

    (snip)

    Most people agree with that, but not everyone. Lukas said laws like the Pregnancy Discrimination Act may actually create problems for women.

    "Sometimes the laws that are intended to help women like me actually end up hurting women like me. All of a sudden, a potential employer is looking at me and thinking, she just might turn around and sue us. That makes it less likely that I'm going to get hired," said Lukas.


    And let's face it, she said, pregnant women can be costly for an employer.

    "A lot of responsibilities are shifted each time I go to a doctor's appointment. That means I'm unavailable to do whatever work needs to be done during that time, which means one of my colleagues is often picking up the slack. It's an economic reality that there are costs for businesses for having pregnant women as employees," said Lukas.

    Lukas said laws that deny that economic reality don't help working women.

    Sanford doesn't deny that there may be costs involved with employing pregnant workers, but that doesn't give companies the right to not hire or fire a woman because she may become costly, he said.
    This is interesting on a couple of fronts. Childless workers are naturally well aware of the disruption caused by maternity leave and child care. They are more or less okay with it. Increasingly, though, women are focusing on the wage disparity between a childless employee who works 100% of the time and women with children who may only work 70% of the time over a given period.

    The other interesting thing this article brings to mind is the unintended consequences of protected classes. Rather than being a protective feature, special status is increasingly becoming a red flag and is starting to result in marginalization and soft exclusion. Why buddy-up with someone who may turn around and accuse you of a hate crime or of discrimination of one kind or another? Maybe it's better to be polite and distant.

    ABC news
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    Power CUer noonwitch's Avatar
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    As a childless coworker, I don't get irritated by maternity leaves. The workers plan those, they get there work done ahead of time, and we end up just covering a few things for them while they are gone.

    What bugs me is the constant covering for sick kids, school closings, and so on. I used to forgo taking time at the holidays, in deference to coworkers with kids who wanted to spend time with their kids, but no more. I take the whole two weeks off-I have more seniority than all of those with little kids, anyways, so I always get the time off. It's the only real satisfaction I have-listening to them whine about how unfair it is that I get the holiday off, even though I don't have kids. I got the time in.
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    Quote Originally Posted by noonwitch View Post
    As a childless coworker, I don't get irritated by maternity leaves. The workers plan those, they get there work done ahead of time, and we end up just covering a few things for them while they are gone.

    What bugs me is the constant covering for sick kids, school closings, and so on. I used to forgo taking time at the holidays, in deference to coworkers with kids who wanted to spend time with their kids, but no more. I take the whole two weeks off-I have more seniority than all of those with little kids, anyways, so I always get the time off. It's the only real satisfaction I have-listening to them whine about how unfair it is that I get the holiday off, even though I don't have kids. I got the time in.
    I think that more and more people are looking at all these 'special cases' and deciding that they aren't so special after all. With less focus on family and less community cohesiveness, who's to say that my time spent fishing or throwing a ball for the Collie is worth less than your time spent watching a Little League game?
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    Senior Member stsinner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    I think that more and more people are looking at all these 'special cases' and deciding that they aren't so special after all. With less focus on family and less community cohesiveness, who's to say that my time spent fishing or throwing a ball for the Collie is worth less than your time spent watching a Little League game?
    I disagree.
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    I don't think Ginger is wrong to value her time and her "work/life balance".
    "Today, [the American voter] chooses his rulers as he buys bootleg whiskey, never knowing precisely what he is getting, only certain that it is not what it pretends to be." - H.L. Mencken
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    Senior Member stsinner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by linda22003 View Post
    I don't think Ginger is wrong to value her time and her "work/life balance".
    If you're addressing my comments, then I'll simply say this-A collie doesn't have to be raised to have self-esteem and confidence in order to one day be sent out into the world on his own with the life's lessons and education and self-respect and courtesy and respect for others that a child needs to have nurtured into them. Family is what life is about-it's what keeps humanity going, and it should be valued above all. That's not to say that people who either choose not to or cannot have children have a less valuable existence, but the fact that the actions of the parents will shape the future for the children of today, and those children are the future means that it's very important to take every measure necessary to guarantee success. Employers are more and more understanding this and I say rightfully so. The protections that are put in place for parents are necessary because as our society gets ever more greedy and selfish, money and productivity are all that some employers take into account at the cost of the jobs for parents who need to take time off for their familial obligations. It's possible to walk the dog or do other recreational activities at any time outside of work, but childrens' colds, school cancellations, school performances, Little League games, etc., don't wait until it's convenient for parents, and they have no control over them.

    Ideally, as far as I'm concerned, society should work toward getting mothers back in the home to raise their children if this is their choice (before you start with the sexist bullshit), because I know many mothers who only work because it's so damned expensive to survive today that they HAVE TO (my wife included). Any woman who would choose to have a baby and desire to put them in day care and work for a living should not be a mother, IMO. I hope that the vast majority of mothers who work only do so because it's nearly impossible to survive today on a single income. The days of the silly feminism movement should be behind us now that we've proven that women can be a very valuable part of the work force and the disparities have been largely overcome. We should now work toward making it affordable to have a single bread winner and have mothers raise the children they bring into this world, not paid strangers.

    Unfortunately, many men are finding themselves out of jobs these days, so the ratio of women to men in the workplace is skewed because of the recession. This makes it hard for women to raise their children, but the fathers should step up and take the reigns as long as they're out of work.
    Last edited by stsinner; 05-06-2009 at 01:16 PM.
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    I'm not arguing that throwing a ball for a Collie is factually as important as feeding a child (watching sports is not a necessary element of child rearing) but that without any common set of values or traditions in our society, it's not possible for your or anyone to evaluate my free time or paid vacation time.

    Because my time can't be seen as less important than another employee's time (who happens to have a child), I'm under no obligation to change my schedule, pull extra work, cover weekend duties, show up on holidays, or stay late on behalf of a parent.

    Now, as a matter of fact, I have done all those things for parents but that's because I have wider moral sense and a lot of common courtesy. As people come up who have little moral sense outside of situational ethics and who have virtually no idea about how courtesy works, there will be no compelling reason to get them to cut parents any slack in the workplace.

    That's my point.
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    I hope stsinner is wrong, that "most" women only work because they "have" to. I'm sorry he doesn't make enough to allow his wife to stay home, if that's important to them. I also think there is a difference in attitudes between those who have jobs and those who have careers. I think the days when staying home is seen as the standard are long gone, though.
    "Today, [the American voter] chooses his rulers as he buys bootleg whiskey, never knowing precisely what he is getting, only certain that it is not what it pretends to be." - H.L. Mencken
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    Senior Member stsinner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by linda22003 View Post
    I hope stsinner is wrong, that "most" women only work because they "have" to. I'm sorry he doesn't make enough to allow his wife to stay home, if that's important to them. I also think there is a difference in attitudes between those who have jobs and those who have careers. I think the days when staying home is seen as the standard are long gone, though.
    First of all, I said mothers, not women, only work because they have to. If you're a mother and you don't want to stay home and raise your kids and would rather put that job off on someone else in order to work a job when you don't have to, I think that's a sickness. The desire to get back home for mothers these days is growing due to the sheer numbers of mothers who are forced to work due to the price of everything increasing. In fact, if you do a search for SAHM, you'll find many groups and advocates for Stay At Home Moms, simply because it's such a rarity these days, and it's been proven that a child benefits more from having their mother raise them than strangers.


    More and more with the increasing popularity and prevalence of the homosexual rights movements and girl power movements, families are being attacked, and it's a sick situation. We have people who choose to be childless, and they ever wage campaigns attacking families and saying that they're no more important than the childless people, and I simply disagree. What's makes these people look even more ridiculous is that it's almost like they know they're the oddity and choosing a strange path in life because only they have these bitter attitudes toward the family men and women.. The ones who are childless because they are barren don't usually attack the people who have families, even though they can't.

    The decline of morals and the secular shift in this country has given rise to all sorts of sick attitudes.
    Last edited by stsinner; 05-06-2009 at 01:44 PM.
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    Senior Member stsinner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    (watching sports is not a necessary element of child rearing) .
    No? Do you have any idea what it does to a kid's self-esteem when their parents don't go to their games? If a child's games aren't important to a parent, then they have some very, very messed up priorities.
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