Accordingly, the focus of this Article is on the legal and social evolution resulting from the Civil Rights Act's prohibition of sex-based discrimination- and, in particular, pregnancy-related discrimination - in the workplace. Section II of this Article details the reluctance with which courts and employers initially extended workplace rights to women. Sections III and IV discuss Title VII's prohibition against "sex" discrimination and initial court hesitation to interpret that prohibition to include employees discriminated against on the basis of pregnancy. Sections V and VI provide an overview of federal and Ohio law granting pregnancy-related rights to women, including the PDA, the Family Medical Leave Act and Ohio Revised Code Chapter 4112. Section VII of this Article examines problematic pregnancy-related workplace perceptions, including how the modern woman's entry and acceptance into the workplace remains complicated by traditional notions of proper female roles. Finally, this Article asks whether stereotypical perceptions of what characteristics comprise the "ideal worker" (e.g., office "face-time") continue to feed negative perceptions of working mothers, slow their workplace advancement and ultimately contribute to many mothers' decisions to simply "opt-out" of their careers. Section VIII contains suggestions for legislative and corporate policy changes that speak to modern realities regarding pregnancy discrimination, specifically, and female workplace advancement, more generally.
Thomas H. Barnard and Adrienne L. Rapp,
Pregnant Employees, Working Mothers and the Workplace - Legislation, Social Change and Where We are Today
22 J.L. & Health
available at https://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/jlh/vol22/iss2/3