To begin with, it is necessary to mention that the employment issues may be divided into several categories. This paper is aimed to discuss different employment issues and situations that were encountered by different people. Originally, the most troublesome issues are closely linked with the pregnancy of the employees. Not every company wishes their workers got pregnant, thus, various restrictions are imposed. In other companies, pregnant workers are subjected to some unlawful actions, such as demotions, fines and other restrictions. Thus, there is a strong necessity to review the federal employment laws and take into account these violations.
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The fact is that the municipal workers and private sector employees, in spite of the various backgrounds and bases of work face the same challenges, nevertheless, the control over the observation of legislation is much heavier, and the regulations that affect their rights on the job are observed more accurately. Barrett (2004) emphasizes the following: “Although the laws and procedures for protecting the interests of federal and state employees can vary essentially from those applicable to the private sector, the objectives and tactical selections are generally similar: to protect the job and the working conditions through negotiation, mediation or litigation as the circumstances of the situation may dictate.” From this point of view, it is necessary to emphasize that the first step of solving the problem is the negotiations with the employer, nevertheless, some employers prefer not to have any dialogues with the employees who are subjected to such violations of federal employment law. On the other hand, the necessity to negotiate originates additional issues, such as the terms of working in the company, the troubles and problems while completing the working obligations by the employee (further discrimination), thus, the actions should be initiated according to the circumstances, though, the best solution will be to address an attorney.
As for the matter of legal side of the question, it is necessary to mention that there is a special Pregnancy Discrimination act, which regulates the treatment of pregnant employees, and which should be strictly observed, as segregation and discrimination should not be accepted in the democratic country. Galenson (2001) in his research points out the following facts on the matter of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act 1978: Originally any employer is not capable to single out pregnancy-related conditions for particular procedures to define an employee’s capability to work. Nevertheless, if an employer requires its workers to submit a doctor’s statement on the matter of their inability to work before granting leave or paying sick benefits, the employer may require pregnant employees to submit such statements. It is also stated that if the worker is unable to perform the job because of the pregnancy, the Discrimination act states, that the employer should not segregate this worker, and treat the same way as the other workers, who are temporarily disabled to perform their working assignments. Thus, if the sick workers are permitted to delay some tasks, modify them, address the other workers for help, accomplish some alternative assignments, and take the leave, reasoned by this disability, the pregnant employee should be granted the same opportunities. This act also emphasizes that thee pregnant workers are free to work as long as they are able to. Originally, this matter is particularly personal, consequently, any employer cannot require the workers to remain until the very moment of birth, especially if the employee has been absent because of health issues, linked with pregnancy. Similarly, the employer is not capable to require the worker to stay on leave, until birth. Galenson (2001) also states that an employer also may not have a rule that prohibits an employee from returning to work for a predetermined length of time after childbirth, and the employers are obliged to hold the job open for the worker who is absent because of pregnancy for the period of time which is allowed for employees on sick or disability leave. The fact is that it is also unlawful to discriminate or segregate an employee who opposes the employment principles directed against pregnant workers. The violation of this act and the legislation based on the principles of this act are seriously punished, and if the violations were mentioned, the worker should consult the attorney, professional in the issues of employment, and get defended with the sword of legislation.
The actions, which are generally taken by the employers, are various. The unlawful actions are forecasted and described in the Pregnancy Discrimination Act 1978, and it is presupposed that such employers will be seriously fined for the violation of employment practices. Nevertheless, there are practical instances of these violations. Pregnant workers are often forced to quit, they are subjected to demotions, which are explained by the poor performance of the tasks. These employees may be subjected to the cuts of their salaries or required to sign their “refusal” from any financial support from the employer, thus, the leave payments are not paid.
The fact is that, if the employer is subjected to losses because of pregnancy, there are numerous ways, which can assist both sides. The employer will not lose the worker, and the employee will get the necessary rest and financial support. First of all, it is necessary to negotiate and come to a single point in mutual wishes and requirements. The options may be the following: part-time work, qualification increase training (cooperative education programs), sharing positions (when the employee performs the tasks from the related sphere, and which are easier), homework, etc.
Still, if the worker is not employed (agent, or a contracted worker), she is not so protected as the full-timers or even part-timers. It is closely linked with the notion that contractors and employers are not connected with serious mutual obligations, however, the treatment to pregnancy-related incapability to perform the tasks should not be different from a sickness-related absence or incapability treatment.
If the worker is a participant of a collective bargaining contract Barrett (2004) states that it is the most unprotected variant of employment. The only special commission may define the rate of responsibility.
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In conclusion, it is necessary to emphasize that the employment principles are designed with the aim to undermine the likelihood of discrimination or segregation, nevertheless, there are numerous instances of these Acts violations. The fact is that the discrimination may be not only on the basis of race religion sexual orientation etc. Pregnancy discrimination is often observed in the employment sphere, as it signifies the increased expenses and decreased working feedback for the employer.
- Barrett, R. S. (2004). Challenging the Myths of Fair Employment Practices. Westport, CT: Quorum Books.
- Galenson, W. (2001). New Trends in Employment Practices: An International Survey. New York: Greenwood Press.