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Why was the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 enacted, and what did it accomplish?
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The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 was enacted because of the growing strength of the women’s rights movement and because of pervasive discrimination against women. Its main impact has been to reduce such discrimination, particularly against women of child-bearing age.
By the 1970s, the women’s rights movement had gained a great deal of power. In addition, there were more and more women entering, or trying to enter, the work force. As women tried to enter the workforce, there came to be discrimination against women who were pregnant or who were of the age most likely to become pregnant. Employers would do things like firing women when they got pregnant or refusing to hire them if they were pregnant. With the growth in the women’s rights movement, women now had the power that they needed to combat such discrimination. Because they had the political power, they were able to get Congress to pass this law.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act has made it much more difficult for employers to discriminate on this basis. Employers are, for example, no longer allowed to ask a woman if she plans to have children in the near future. They are certainly not allowed to fire women simply because they do not want to have to deal with the inconvenience of having pregnant employees. Thus, this law has had a major role in protecting the rights of women.
Posted by pohnpei397 on January 31, 2014 at 12:35 AM (Answer #1)
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