Pregnancy Discrimination Act Essay

1521 Words 7 Pages
I. Introduction
With the rise of the modern age economic survival has become difficult for families based on a single income. This economic need along with modern attitudes toward gender equality has resulted in women being represented in the workforce in greater numbers. However, until the 1960’s women faced severe discrimination when trying to enter and maintain a position in the workforce. Often qualified women would be passed over for men with less experience and education. Employers were fearful that women were too emotional and were not equipped to handle the stress of the work environment. Also driving the decision to not hire or promote women was the concern over the additional health care expenses and leave time pregnant
…show more content…
Within the Civil Right act was a section entitled Title VII which was created specifically to deal with matters of employment. Title VII’s objective is to prevent discrimination based upon a person’s color, national origin, gender, and religion in regards to all aspects of employment. This protection begins with the initial stages of hiring and training employees and extends up to promotions and dismissals of an employees. If a person belonged to one of the groups outlined by Title VII they became classified as a member of a protected class. (Bohlander and Snell, 101) With the establishment of sex as a protected class the foundation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act had been laid but it would take fourteen years before pregnancy itself would become protected.
The need for the new law to be established began with the conflicting outcomes coming from the various levels of the court system. The courts disagreed on what constituted sex discrimination. Six different United States Courts of Appeals had ruled in favor of pregnant women saying that any employment act that would adversely affect a pregnant woman was sex discrimination as outlined by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Supporting this position was the view of the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission who also agreed that discrimination based on a pregnancy would be considered sex discrimination. However, the United States Supreme Court would change all of that with its ruling in two separate court
Open Document