In an interesting show today on NPR Diane Rehms and her guests discussed the "changing demand on employees in the modern American workplace." The main point of the show was to discuss how poorly workers are treated in the American workplace when compared to other parts of the world such as Europe. We take too little vaction. I can attest to that.
What caught my ear, however, was when the guest Brigid Schulte raised an issue that is very important to me and my clients. The issue is gender discrimination in the workplace.
Our culture places an undue burden on women as child care-givers. This is a lingering problem in our culture. Worldwide also. She made the point that although many women might gratuate from medical school, a relatively small few rise to the level of full professor, or continue in the field for a long time.
In Connecticut, women have the protections from gender discrimination in the form of the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act, and the federal Civil Rights Act. Also, in Connecticut the law forbits discrimation on the basis of pregnancy, and requires an employer to grant reasonable leave for a pregnancy. In some instances the Americans with Disabilities Act might apply.
That is great. Blatant discrimination on the basis of gender still exists, however. Particularly when it comes to pregnancy and child raising.
One way employers use to avoid anti-discrimination laws is to use temporary workers instead of full time employees. That way, when they employer wants to get rid of the employee, they simple don't renew the temporary contract. Some large employers in our area, like Pfizer, chose to employ outside contractors and temporary workers for many functions. This significanly reduces the rights of workers, and disproportionately hurts women. Recently, one client asked for time off due to her pregancy, and was fired when she pointed out that Connecticut law requires some leave. She had no practical remedy, however, because she was only a temporary worker as her right to continued employment was limited anyway.
The Diance Rehms show is a radio show on (NPR) National Public Radio.
If you are the victim of gender discrimination we help. Call the lawyers at The Bartinik Law Firm, P.C., 100 Fort Hill Road, Groton, Connecticut at 860-445-8521 or toll free at 888-717-4211.