I can't say I'm terribly surprised by this news, but I sure can say I'm disappointed by it.
Two recent studies found that workplace discrimination worsens in a lousy economy and pregnant women often suffer badly.
It makes sense that discrimination on the job would increase in a bad economy -- everyone's on edge, and worried about their own job security. But expecting women, already at a high risk to be discriminated against, are especially vulnerable to a negative bias.
In one study, pregnant women were overlooked for jobs seen as traditionally "masculine," such as a corporate lawyer, high school math teacher, or general surgeon.
According to the researchers, even people who typically support diversity programs have shifting attitudes in times of economic crisis -- and employers justify the discrimination against pregnant women with comments such as the applicant "would complain a lot" or "would expect to have their work done for them."
Pregnant women were also found to be the victims of too much touching and overly-friendly behavior.
For what it's worth, The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 is intended to protect pregnant women in federal jobs and in companies with at least 15 employees. But we all know businesses are good at finding ways to get around rules.
Have you ever been discriminated against as a pregnant woman on the job?