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Is Maternity Leave a Form of Employee Discrimination...?


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Old 9th May 2013, 9:54 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by Sarabi View Post
You get paid maternity leave for a year (3 months at 90% I think and the rest at statutory maternity pay which isn't much...but its still money)
SMP is only paid for 39 weeks and the first 6 weeks of that are at 90% of your pay. Not everybody is entitled to this though.

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You get tax relief/credits in some way or other if you have children (I am not sure how it works but you get a portion of your tax back). Note: you are also eligible for this if you don't work any don't pay any tax.
The welfare reform changes will impose a maximum level on benefits that can be claimed regardless of how many children a family may have.

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You get vouchers from the government for using on milk/fruit/veg (this is abused frequently but thats another story)
The above is for families on benefits, not everybody

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Your priority with social housing is pushed above other people on the waiting list because you have children or are pregnant (which is why you might always hear about the uproar of teenagers getting pregnant to get houses over here)
A very common misconception. Housing is allocated based on housing need. A single person can have greater need than a single parent family and will therefore be housed first. However properties are also allocated based on size and a single person will not be allocated a two+ bedroom property under the new bedroom tax rules. Single people may end up waiting longer not because there need is less but because suitable sized properties are not available.
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Old 9th May 2013, 10:36 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by USMCHokie View Post
Right. In the US, we have paternity leave too. But what about those individuals (men and women) who elect not to have a child while employed?
For those individuals, there's no issue that would necessitate leaving. It's as simple as that. Is this another anti-feminism thread cloaked in some sort of faux concern over equal treatment under the law?
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Old 9th May 2013, 11:28 AM   #63
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For those individuals, there's no issue that would necessitate leaving. It's as simple as that. Is this another anti-feminism thread cloaked in some sort of faux concern over equal treatment under the law?
I assure you there is no cloak.
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Old 9th May 2013, 12:11 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by USMCHokie View Post
I assure you there is no cloak.
Well fine, but the issue stands. It's a measure intended to assist people in special circumstances, just like workers compensation pays out only to people who've been injured on the job. It's discriminatory when it establishes that certain classes of people are going to be treated differently under the same circumstances. It's not a particularly difficult concept to grasp.
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Old 9th May 2013, 12:14 PM   #65
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My, I sense sarcasm is strong in this thread.
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Old 9th May 2013, 12:15 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
Well fine, but the issue stands. It's a measure intended to assist people in special circumstances, just like workers compensation pays out only to people who've been injured on the job. It's discriminatory when it establishes that certain classes of people are going to be treated differently under the same circumstances. It's not a particularly difficult concept to grasp.
Preferential treatment such as workers comp, performance bonuses, hazard/combat pay, etc. are paid due to circumstances directly resulting or arising from the job. Maternity leave is preferential treatment paid for a woman making a personal choice, i.e., bearing a child.

Unless there's a job that puts babies inside women...?
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Old 9th May 2013, 1:09 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by Seachelle1 View Post
USM,

ERA has never passed. Employers can (and do) discriminate based on gender.

Equal Rights Amendment - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Uh...try again. Maybe you need to read the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Gender is a protected class in the U.S. Employers can't legally discriminate based on gender.
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Old 9th May 2013, 2:01 PM   #68
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Clia,

Thanks for your link and information.

My understanding based on readings of judgments in civil/criminal state and federal court is that the language couched in the Civil Rights Act is not broad enough to cover all gender discrimination. So employers can (and do) discriminate based on pregnancy and thus based on gender. I believe the federal Supreme Court precedence says "reasonable discrimination" is permissible. Some states have their own version of Era and pumped up civil rights laws which are broader but federal law does not cover all gender situations.

I'm not claiming to be a lawyer here but law is complicated and twisty. Read one law and the facts are still not in front of you because there are quite a few laws. It is complicated and confusing.

Anyway, I'm gonna check out of this entire thread. While there are smart and kind people here the pretense in some words and surety that some know more than anyone else is not something I want to be around. Nobody learns anything when they figure they already know the answer.

i.e. There is not much listening and respect going on here.
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Old 9th May 2013, 2:08 PM   #69
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I don't know many employers in my area that pay maternity benefits. Sure, you can take the time, but you are often using sick leave that you built up or earned, and then it's unpaid.

When I leave early to attend an event for my children, or if one is sick, I am using leave time that I earned.

Both of my maternity leaves were unpaid.

And just for arguments sake, I can't imagine complaining about picking up slack while a co-worker is on maternity leave. I've been there, it's certainly no vacation..
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Old 9th May 2013, 2:21 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by Star Gazer View Post
How many years of strictly employment counseling and litigation do you have under your belt, I'm sincerely curious. Oh, that's right. NONE! You're not an attorney!

Sorry, you ARE a lay person, and you remain absolutely incorrect.

You said: "They are expected to not discriminate negatively against one on a protected class. They can discriminate positively towards those in a protected class."

The underlined is flatly wrong. Logically speaking, you cannot discriminate positively towards those within a protected class without ALSO discriminating negatively towards those in the same protected class.

Example: Discriminating positively/in favor of women, by its very nature, is disparate treatment against men, or at the very least creates a disparate impact (that phrase would ring a bell for you if you were an employment or civil rights attorney) against men, and thus is discriminating negatively against men based on their sex/gender, and thus unlawful.

Being a woman is not the "protected class." Sex/gender is the protected class. That means a person cannot be discriminated against because of their sex/gender - whether male or female. This is precisely why you cannot discriminate against one, but in favor of the other. If you're doing it in favor of one, it's against the other, and vice versa.

The term "protected class" does not refer to a specific group of people, such as to mean that women are protected but not men, or blacks are protected but not whites, or Muslims are protected but not Christians, or paraplegics are protected but not the able-bodied. Rather, it means that gender/sex, race, religion, disability (all respectively) are protected classes, and those protected classes cannot legally factor into a decision made about employment (or housing or public accommodations or facilities).



Huh? I wasn't referring to California anywhere in my post. EEOC decisions are binding on all cases falling within federal subject matter jurisdiction, not just California. I would expect you to know that.



I didn't say that wasn't the case. However, in my experience, very few employers actually offer paid maternity benefits.



I have plenty of knowledge and lawyerly certificates on my wall that say otherwise.








CA - my first post cited that while the federal government does not acknowledge sexual orientation as a protected class though some states at the state level. You came back and countered that saying it wasn't true and so I responded with CA as an example. But, as I am sure you are well aware, there are federal laws but there are state laws that exceed the limitations of the federal laws and are upheld in the courts, i.e. meal break violations which the federal government (DOL) has no requirements towards meal breaks but certain states do and will fine/penalize accordingly and has not been overturned in the higher courts. When a state law affords a person more rights than federal law, the state law is legally presumed to prevail, but only within that state.

This means state law will always supersede federal law when the person in question stands to gain more from the state law. Conversely, when state law imposes more responsibility on a citizen than federal law, the person could be subject to a higher penalty for violating the state law. Environmental conservation laws, employee minimum wage laws and banking regulations are examples of situations where some state laws are more restrictive than similar federal laws. As I am sure you know.

Again, I bring up affirmative action. What do you suppose that is? If, as you state, "that means a person cannot be discriminated against because of their sex/gender - whether male or female. This is precisely why you cannot discriminate against one, but in favor of the other. If you're doing it in favor of one, it's against the other, and vice versa." How do you explain affirmative action? Affirmative action, by its very essence is about preferential treatment towards those in minority groups including women, so by consequence, would have an adverse effect on males and others in non protected classes (white, under 40 years of age, etc.).

And finally your experience with employers and paid maternity leave. No offense but unless you cite your experience, and show a significant knowledge of and review of a large segment of the workforce how does your experience amount to the price of tea in China on this topic? Can you cite evidence that a large number of employers do not offer paid maternity leave? Do you have a specific industry you are focusing on? Is this cross sectional? Are you discussing solely the US or internationally?
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Old 9th May 2013, 6:44 PM   #71
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This entire thread makes me very sad. I can't believe we are even debating this issue.

New mothers need to stay home with their children when they are babies. Crucial bonding occurs in the first few months of life and the mother needs time to get used to her new role. End of story.

Maternity leave pogey is precious little compared to full salary and mothers face discrimination in the workplace. I once worked in a company where pregnant women were getting written up for going to the bathroom too often. The sheer injustice of that sickened me and I am childfree. I may not have or want children, but I know that I was a baby once too.

When I was born, mat leave was only three months. La Mere stayed home with me for a year because I was a clingy and demanding tiny tyrant. She lost her job because of me but she never regretted staying home with her little screamer. Imagine a woman losing her job because she was trying to be a good mom!
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Old 9th May 2013, 6:56 PM   #72
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This entire thread makes me very sad. I can't believe we are even debating this issue.

New mothers need to stay home with their children when they are babies. Crucial bonding occurs in the first few months of life and the mother needs time to get used to her new role. End of story.

Maternity leave pogey is precious little compared to full salary and mothers face discrimination in the workplace. I once worked in a company where pregnant women were getting written up for going to the bathroom too often. The sheer injustice of that sickened me and I am childfree. I may not have or want children, but I know that I was a baby once too.

When I was born, mat leave was only three months. La Mere stayed home with me for a year because I was a clingy and demanding tiny tyrant. She lost her job because of me but she never regretted staying home with her little screamer. Imagine a woman losing her job because she was trying to be a good mom!
FMLA covers this and many other medical reasons why someone needs to not work due to their own medical condition or an immediate family member. And this is really a more major issue in the US, other countries like Canada, United Kingdom, etc. are much more liberal with their leave, and even paid leave, and have paid maternity/paternity leave. The US is not an employee friendly country as a whole, it is much more geared to free enterprise/ every person for themselves mentality.

My company has Canadian employees as well as US, and it has been enlightening, when we were setting it up, the differences in employment law. As an employee, I would definitely rather be a Canadian. As an employer, I would much rather be an American.
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Old 9th May 2013, 8:11 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by USMCHokie View Post
Preferential treatment such as workers comp, performance bonuses, hazard/combat pay, etc. are paid due to circumstances directly resulting or arising from the job. Maternity leave is preferential treatment paid for a woman making a personal choice, i.e., bearing a child.

Unless there's a job that puts babies inside women...?
That may be true, but in a lot of cases, there are other men who may have an economic interest in having the woman keep her job. The law is simply recognizing the fact that probably a majority of adults in this country end up having children, and there's a legitimate economic interest in not punishing people for making the choice to be parents. You could look at it as a personal decision, but this is also one of those 'for the greater good' rules.
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Old 11th May 2013, 2:04 PM   #74
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This thread is crazy. If its not maternity leave I am sure there will be something else for employees to biatch about. Seriously, get over it.
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Old 12th May 2013, 7:12 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by Nyla View Post
Imagine a woman losing her job because she was trying to be a good mom!
If you are a mother, THAT should be your job.
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