When Claire Danes, star of the critically acclaimed Homeland, became pregnant at the height of the show’s success she did not lose her job. Instead, producers of the show made a variety accommodations to accommodate the actresses growing belly. Unfortunately many pregnant women are not that lucky.
Under current federal law, employers are not required to make even minimal accommodations for pregnant women, forcing many women to leave a job they want or need. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 protects women from being treated differently in the workplace because of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. However, it does not require employers to provide pregnant women with reasonable accommodations.
There are documented stories from Philadelphia and across the nation where pregnant women were fired for simply carrying a water bottle or requesting “light duty.” Recently our Executive Director JoAnne and Deputy Director Bette wrote an article for the Philadelphia Inquirer that discussed this alarming issue and proposed legislation that would give pregnant women the protection they need.