The article, “2 Kentucky Police Officers Win Pregnancy Discrimination Case,” by Richard Pérez-Peña (2016) seeks to address pregnancy discrimination case. The article was published in The New York Times in 2016. Precisely, the purpose of the article was to address pregnancy discrimination in the workplace and analyze court ruling on the employment law and policies that relate to women harassment by employers due to pregnancy.
According to the article Lyndi Trischler, a police officer during her first pregnancy received light duties. However, Citing Pérez-Peña (2016), in 2014 the city introduced new policies that illustrated pregnant women were not exempted from heavy responsibilities. Therefore, Trischler was subjected to regular work duties during her second pregnancy. Losing health insurance and unpaid leave petrified her thus she kept working in such harsh conditions (Pérez-Peña, 2016). Trischler claimed that she worked as a patrol officer until she was approximately five and half months. Her experience at work during the pregnancy period was very painful as she had to wear a bulletproof vest and gun belt.
After the court ruling, Florence Department agreed to modify the pregnant employee policies according to the announcement made by the Justice Department, and they would pay 135,000 dollars for lawyer’s fees and damages to Officer Trischler (Pérez-Peña, 2016). The Supreme Court had handed an essential ruling over the subject in the previous year. It ruled that workers could prosecute employers for pregnancy discrimination if they declined to accommodate them. Pregnancy discrimination complaints have risen since the 1990s from 4,000 to 6,000 every year (Williams, Devaux, Fuschetti & Salmon, 2013). Many women face discrimination in the workplace but do not realize they have protection from the 1978 Act of pregnancy discrimination (Williams, et al., 2013). Besides, The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has addressed the issue by enacting policies to protect women from these discriminations.
Managing a diverse workforce has always been a debated subject in human resource management (HRM). Some organizations focus more on finding a better solution in addressing the issue such as women discrimination which significantly affects employees’ engagement (O’Reilly, et al., 2011). Protection from pregnancy discrimination is an ethical and legal issue in human resource management context because modern organizations have a diverse workforce. For that reason, ensuring there is a healthy working environment for pregnant women should be a significant factor to consider for all businesses. Additionally, establishments should not subject their employees to choosing between salary and family. Hence they should provide a better working condition for every worker regardless of their conditions. Williams et al., (2013) assert that subjecting pregnant employees to heavy duties is a breach of the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Similarly, it violates the 1990 Act for Americans with Disabilities. Besides, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission policies play a critical role in protecting employees.
The article addresses discrimination in the workforce with relevance to human resource management. About a third of women in organizations in the global and domestic business environment have experienced discrimination which has affected their professionalism and job satisfaction (O’Reilly et al., 2011). Pregnant women face harassment in the workplace. Moreover, they get limited intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. Some organizations use outdated policies about appropriate work for women. O’Reilly et al. (2011) argue that these establishments ignore harassment and discrimination in the workplace which put women at a disadvantage. Their human resources fail to recognize female workers have family commitments. Hence, they are likely to take breaks and perform light duties.
O’Reilly, J., Lain, D., Sheehan, M., Smale, B., & Stuart, M. (2011). Managing uncertainty: the crisis, its consequences and the global workforce. Work, employment and society, 25(4), 581-595.
Pérez-Peña, R. (2016). 2 Kentucky police officers win pregnancy discrimination case. The New York Times. Retrieved on April 24, 2017 from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/27/us/florence-kentucky-police.html?_r=0
Williams, J. C., Devaux, R., Fuschetti, D., & Salmon, C. (2013). A sip of cool water: pregnancy accommodation after the ADA amendments act. Yale Law & Policy Review, 32(1), 97-148.
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