hire, a woman because she is pregnant. The law even restricts workplace
speech. Employers are warned that in a job interview they must never
ask questions like, “Might you start a family?”
If Congress thought the law would end claims of workplace discrimination, it was wrong, as usual.Companies are increasingly being sued. Even a maternity-clothing chain was sued.
Waters’s lawyer, David Sanford, filed a class-action lawsuit
against Novartis. “If you get pregnant, you’re in trouble at Novartis,”
he told me.
Novartis denies wrongdoing and points out that Working Mother magazine named it one of America’s 100 best companies for women.
Sanford claims that his $200-million lawsuit will teach Novartis and other companies not to discriminate.
But Carrie Lukas says such lawsuits do more harm than good. Lukas is also a working mom, vice president of theIndependent Women’s Forum.
“If my employer decides they no longer want me as an employee,
then it should be their right to fire me.” she told me. “I understand
the desire for people to have government step in and try to protect
women, but there’s real costs to government intervention.”
This was discussed at length on thelocal teenybopper radio morning show (that I usually LOVE, by the way, since they bag on Clear Channel and record companies and conservatives all the time) and what pissed me off was that there was zero mention of the fact that Stossel and Lukas are professional conservatives, especially Lukas, who seems to be positing that the response to discrimination is to be a very good girl and beg the boss not to hit you anymore:
hurting women like me,” Lukas said. “All of a sudden, a potential
employer is looking at me and thinking, ‘She just might turn around and
sue us.’ That makes it less likely that I’m going to get hired. You
raise the cost of hiring a woman like me.”
Yes. The desire for a fair workplace is to blame for all unfair douchebaggery ever. That makes SUCH TOTAL SENSE. If we’d just stop demanding to be treated equally by a society that first fetishizes childbearing and then demonizes the people who do it, everything would be fine!
Many of the radio callers had horror stories about their employers fucking with them while they were pregnant (including one winner of a boss who showed up to the funeral of a worker’s three-day-old baby and told her she had to be back at work in a week or she’d be canned), but there were a few that echoed Lukas here:
let’s be honest: Most pregnant workers impose costs on employers.
“Responsibilities are shifted each time I go to a doctor’s
appointment,” Lukas said. “That means I’m unavailable to do whatever
work needs to be done during that time, which means one of my
colleagues is often picking up the slack.”
I have been the childless person who gets extra work because somebody had to go home and be with his or her kids, and it sucks, and it’s horribly unfair. “So-and-so has a family,” I’d be told, which, like I don’t? Just because they don’t include spawn of my own, my people don’t count? And I had at least one colleague in my career who tried to make her irresponsibility all about her status as a mother, like she was so busy taking care of her kids she couldn’t possibly do the duties done by other mothers in the office just fine, whose response to her nonsense was universally “mommy, please.” So I’m familiar with the way childless and single people can be fucked over.
But they’re fucked over by their bosses, not by the people who have kids. Making this about pregnant vs. non-pregnant ladies relieves the higher-ups of their responsibilities of staffing their shops adequately and managing their people in such a way as to leave them allowance to be human. If we’re busy arguing with each other about somebody who hadanother baby oh my god, or hasanother doctor’s appointment, and resenting each other, we won’t notice that it’s the job of the people in charge to account for this stuff in a way that doesn’t involve simply pointing at whoever’s left and saying, “You do this.”
Not to mention which, we ALL pick up each other’s slack now and again. It’s not like it’s any different when I get sick and someone else has to answer my phone
As usual, it is to the benefit of those in power that those with none fight with one another, which is what pisses me off so much about Stossel here:
“You don’t have to hire me, and I don’t have to work for you,” answers Carrie Lukas.
Why, it’s almost like magic, the way it takes care of itself like that!