Family Values in Action

Conservatives, seriously:

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act makes it illegal to fire, or not
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:

“Sometimes laws that are intended to help women like me actually end up
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:

And while some pregnant women work harder than any man, she says,
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:

How would the job market work without discrimination laws?

“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!


11 thoughts on “Family Values in Action

  1. This is pretty depressing. Is Lukas an Eagle Forum or Phyllis Schlafly groupie?

  2. The free market worshipers acknowledge the market is full of risks. But they try to shove the risks off of themselves as business owners. They want it so they can run their business unfettered by risks (extra expense/less profit).
    It’s one thing to try to screw your competitors or even your suppliers but there are a lot of employers who treat their human resources worse than their equipment assets.
    The underlying attitude seems to be “I have a right to do what I want and be successful.” instead of “Running a business of any kind is a crap shoot, there are risks and if I’m smart and lucky I might not lose my shirt.” It’s a gamble, not an entitlement.

  3. Stossel has figured out how to not get punched in the face by supporting the corporations. When he was a low level reporter show how wrestling is fake.

    I read that Stossel was awarded $425,000 for being slapped two times. What a baby, suing because of a little slap!

  4. My favorite part is “there’s real costs to government intervention.” THE ENTIRE JUSTICE SYSTEM IS A GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION YOU DUMBASS! Must…shield…eyes…before…blinding…stupid…

  5. I’ve been pregnant and have had melanoma, and the second has much more affected my work schedule than the first: when I was pregnant, I worked up until 2 days before my due date and had 6 weeks of maternity leave scheduled well ahead of time, and with the melanoma I’ve had to take one day off a week for 6 weeks to go get this and that removed while being more than a little brain dead with worry.
    Pregnancy ain’t the only thing that can get in the way of being a balls-to-the-wall employee-of-the-month.

  6. Sorry, not 2 days before my due date, 2 days before L. was born. Went home from work on Friday and I was in the hospital and laboring Saturday morning, with L. showing up 51 hours later (he’s a bit shy).

  7. Just FWIW, it isillegal in Canada to ask about marital or family status in a job interview (you also can’t ask about religion, age, and a whole bunch of other no-nos), and illegal to fire someone because of pregnancy.
    I am actually vaguely shocked that youcan ask such things in a job interview in the US; and I’d probably not get hired because I’ve been raised in a culture that believes asking about that kind of thing is way out of bounds, and so if I were ever in that situation, I’d be like, “And what business of yours is that?!”

  8. Exactly Interrobang. One of my manuf contacts is in the Toronto office. She was off for the available year w/her new baby (and her other children and hubs). She came back to her job at the year point rarin’ & ready to go. Her substitute went back to what she did (thankfully, she wasn’t nearly as good as my friend/contact). I am not dating anyone and my kid-having window is shrinking fast – but I found myself envying Canada for having such a policy (let alone their healthcare benes in general).
    I had a coworker that was out enough as it was even before she got preggers. Whenever she was out ill (or maybe drunk?) I usually had to jump in and scramble. Oh – and then not quite a year later…she just stopped showing up even tho’ she had given a couple of months’ notice. Gee, thanks…

  9. I think we should expand this same reasoning to other protected groups. Companies should be allowed to not hire blacks or jews because of concerns that, if they discriminated against them, they might be subject to lawsuits. And muslim business owners should be allowed to not hire christians…

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