Bundle of Joy? Oh Boy: How Louisiana's Pregnant Workers Fairness Act is a Push to End Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace

49 S.U. L. Rev. _ (2022)

25 Pages Posted: 21 Apr 2022

See all articles by Destiny Girouard

Destiny Girouard

Southern University Law Center - Southern University Law Center

Date Written: February 5, 2022

Abstract

Employers and employment systems have been inflexible when it comes to accommodating a woman’s dual role as childbearer and employee. This inflexibility is a frustrating inconvenience and harsh reality that women must confront daily. Women are being passed over for promotions, fired for needing time off, and being denied adequate accommodations all because they are pregnant or will become pregnant at some point during their career. Pregnancy discrimination claims filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the government agency that handles filed claims of employment discrimination, have been on a steady incline for the past two decades with claims hovering at an all-time high. This article will explore the history of pregnancy discrimination in the workplace and examine legislation, both pending and enacted, at the federal level. Through the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and notable Supreme Court cases like Geduldig v. Aiello and General Electric Co. v. Gilbert came the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (“PDA”) of 1978. However, 40 years after the PDA’s passage, many pregnant workers still have to choose between a healthy pregnancy and their jobs. Pending legislation, such as The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act of 2021, would change workplace discrimination due to pregnancy altogether.

This article narrows its scope by examining pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, specifically in the state of Louisiana. This article examines Louisiana’s newly enacted Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and what it means for pregnant working women in the State of Louisiana. Employers now with twenty-five employees or more must reasonably accommodate pregnant employees. Employers now need to provide compensated break periods, bathroom breaks, breast “milking” stations, and modified food, drink, and manual working policies. While the Act is certainly a push in the right direction toward ending pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, there is still work to be done on both a state and federal level. The author concludes that since there is no federal law regarding accommodations and fairness in the workplace for pregnant employees, a federal law should be enacted.

Note:
Funding Information: None to declare.

Declaration of Interests: None to declare.

Keywords: pregnancy discrimination, pregnancy, workplace discrimination, pregnancy accommodations, Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), Louisiana Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

JEL Classification: K00, K10, K31, J13, K36, J00, J08, J79, J7, J70, J71, J81, J80, K19, K31, K39, K4, K40, K49

Suggested Citation

Girouard, Destiny, Bundle of Joy? Oh Boy: How Louisiana's Pregnant Workers Fairness Act is a Push to End Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace (February 5, 2022). 49 S.U. L. Rev. _ (2022), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4027165

Destiny Girouard (Contact Author)

Southern University Law Center - Southern University Law Center ( email )

2 Roosevelt Steptoe Dr.
Baton Rouge, LA 70813
United States

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