What states have the best protection for pregnant and breastfeeding women?
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, The Pregnancy Discrimination Act, and The Nursing Mothers Break Time Provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 give some protections for women in all 50 states, but it’s limited, and some states do little to make the work place a hospitable place for expecting mothers or for mothers trying to breastfeed their children.
I am no stranger to this discrimination. In a past position as a supervisor, I witnessed male coworkers discriminating against a pregnant female worker. Although, the behavior was immediately reprimanded, subtle behavioral changes occurred throughout the time of her pregnancy. Coworkers did not respond to her work related requests or were slow to respond, and there was resentment when she received leave, even though she used her vacation time.
With more women taking supervisor and management roles, this culture of discrimination should shift. The EU implemented policies regarding pregnant worker’s protections which includes accommodations for fathers to use paternity leave. Even though these policies have long been implemented, there still remains a bias toward traditional gender roles and gender division of labor in the private and public sector.*
We can only hope that this is a generational bias, and as the Millennials become parents, we may see a shift toward a gender neutral mentality where both parents are afforded rights in the work place to rear their child.
On the map above, the darkly shaded states and territories represent those which offer state-level protections against pregnancy discrimination.
On the map above, the darkly shaded states and territories represent those which offer laws protecting state-level workplace breastfeeding rights.
State-Level Provisions for Pregnancy Accommodation and Pregnancy-Related Disability
On the map above, the darkly shaded states and territories represent those which offer state-level provision for pregnancy accommodation.
*Mothering the Union: Gender Politics in the EU by Roberta Guerrina