Pregnancy Discrimination: The Occurrence of Miscarriage at Work

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Miscarriage is one of the most misunderstood tragedies that a woman can experience, and many women suffer in silence.

Today, we will discuss about women having miscarriage at the workplace particularly because of discrimination and the job stress that can influence this event.

Discrimination on Pregnant Women at Work

Pregnancy and employment for women continue to be a source of conflict between employers and employees. Pregnancy exists as an afterthought in the history of the employment discrimination legislation designed to address inequality in the workplace.

Philosophical tensions continue to rise surrounding how employers should treat pregnancy and pregnant workers, how women approach the responsibilities of pending motherhood and employment and how the laws provide amends to the employer’s negligence.

Back in the old days, there had been no legal protections for women in the workplace during and after pregnancy as most of them could be fired at any moment. During the modern times in the US, the employment protections provided by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 were applied to pregnant women along with the intervention of the Congress through the Pregnancy Discrimination Act in 1978. Then, several years after, 1990 ADA (Americans with Disability Act) provided some additional means of protection for pregnant workers.

But despite the enforcement of federal statutory law regarding this matter in the US, it is evident that negative views of pregnancy in employment still prevail, often resulting in both intentional and implicit discriminatory biases against pregnancy as a biological function not appropriate in the workplace. As a result, women constantly face problems and challenges in negotiating how best to integrate pregnancy, maternity leave, and employment into their work lives.

In the Philippines, the government has recently extended maternity leave after childbirth. Also, under Philippine labor laws, there are several provisions made which includes a rule which is implemented so that when discrimination or termination of a pregnant employee in her workplace can allow her to file a civil action for damages.

These days, in many countries, women are protected by law, however, there are still old-fashioned men at your workplace. So, you may need to be careful.

How Job Stress and Discrimination at Work Can Influence Miscarriage

There is a stigma associated with pregnancy at work, which greatly impacts women’s work identity and how employers and coworkers treat the pregnant employee. Some of the most recent research has determined that pregnant women who experience discrimination manifest a physiological response that may negatively affect the health of the fetus.

This early finding of health consequences for pregnant women in discriminatory environments may increase the pressure for a safer working environment, not just a physically safer workplace. Thus, many pregnant women continue to work despite the arising discrimination issues due to financial necessity.

Sadly, there have been many reports showing that stress in the workplace may affect a pregnancy. For example, one study showed that women lawyers who work very long hours are more than five times as likely to experience stress and three times as likely to undergo miscarriage than a similar group of lawyers who work a more normal 35-hour week.

Moreover, in 2014, several pregnant women experienced miscarriages while they were working in a certain company. Although they all asked for light duty and even brought their doctors’ notes recommending to have less workloads and shorter shifts, the company’s supervisors ignored their letters.

According to the clinical guidelines, doing extensive lifting in the workplace is dangerous for the health of both mother and fetus. Also, medical research studies which span in two decades have created a link between physically demanding work and fetal death as researchers concluded that lifting and bending could potentially reduce blood flow to the uterus.


Therefore, the discrimination of pregnant women in their workplaces tend to largely impact the health of their unborn children which may lead to occurrence of miscarriages if employers don’t provide them special needs and protection that they deserve.

The corporate world should also take significant measures to clarify the rules on pregnancy and provide pregnant employees the means for them to work according to their current capabilities and based on their physical situation as childbearing is not a simple task to do. This way, pregnant women can work productively and comfortably without compromising their babies’ health and their own.

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