In the Business Weekly article, titled “Mother’s Load,” which takes an investigative look at continued women and workplace discrimination over four decades after the passage of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, our colleague Attorney Jeff Elliott was able to impart some wisdom on the topic:
“I think women are still plagued in America’s workplaces with hesitation in revealing pregnancy status,” said Jeffrey Elliott, an employment attorney with Wyomissing’s Kozloff Stoudt. “Once it’s out of your mouth, the law steps up and protects you, (but) the problem with the law is, there’s no protracted postpartum social aspect to the protections.”
The Business Weekly article goes on to add more about Attorney Elliot’s take on expecting mothers and the ways to best handle maternity leave:
“Elliott said staying connected while on leave is an essential strategy for women who want to resume their roles — and feel secure that they are valued — upon their return. In addition to notifying an employer early in pregnancy to trigger protections, Elliott recommends that workers take other proactive steps. With the exception of sexual harassment, discrimination law doesn’t require employers to advise employees of their rights.
So if women have time, they should turn to a trusted source to get a better understanding of what they can and cannot ask for. They also should document in writing how and when they expect to return to the workplace, including any agreements that cover the resumption of full responsibilities. Keeping in contact with co-workers, supervisors or key contacts — even sporadically — also can be helpful. And don’t be afraid to make sure your employer recognizes your value to the company, Elliott adds. In an economy with near-full employment, companies likely would find it easier to retain an existing employee with company longevity and knowledge than to recruit and train a new hire.”