Pregnancy Discrimination Act
PDA stands for the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and it is a 1978 amendment to the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It basically states that there should be no discrimination made on the basis of pregnancy in the work field. If, on the contrary, women are in some way treated unfair because they are pregnant, they can take this maTer in front of a judge because the law is being broken.
Why is PDA Beneficial for Women?
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act is meant to help women deal with the possible bias that they might encounter at work. It means that a pregnancy should not be an advantage or a disadvantage to one's career; it should not influence a person's professional evolution whatsoever. This means that a woman should not get fired just because she is expecting a baby, nor that she should be given a promotion, easier tasks or the like. She has to be treated the same as any other co-worker. Also, there should be no prejudice on the part of her coLeagues, superiors or coLaborators.
In terms of maternity leave or absence from work due to pregnancy related problems, the woman has to benefit from the same treatment as any other disabled employE, meaning that if she is unable to perform her duty, she has to have the chance to take a medical leave or a leave without payment. Pregnancy is related to health and should be treated accordingly.
When returning from her leave, the employer is forbidden to demand that she stay at home until her due day. If she has recovered and is capable of doing her job properly, nothing should impede her. Also, in the case of absence due to pregnancy issues, her job should be held open for the same period of time as in the case of a leave on sick or disability terms.
In terms of health insurance, it is worth mentioning that the PDA claims that all pregnancy-related conditions should be covered just as any other health problems. However, there are few companies which actually cover for this. Many claim that pregnancy is not an illness, but something you bring on yourself willingly, so why should the company pay for these expenses?
The benefits of PDA should not be applied only to married persons because, by doing this, we trigger yet another type of discrimination. What gives us the right to judge a person and on what basis do we say that pregnancy is related to marriage?
Some feminists have stated that the PDA does not stand for equality between men and women because it allows women to be treated differently just because they have the biological function of giving birth. Nevertheless, this act is meant not to make women feel weak and in need of special treatment. We are not talking about the general situation at the workplace, but about the specific period when a woman is pregnant. It is just natural that in this particular period women have certain needs and that these should be taken into consideration by employers.