Workplace Law and Ethics

Published 19 Aug 2017

Examples of discrimination in the workplace include discrimination of pregnant women employees. Pregnant women employees might be discriminated merely due to their conditions. Consequently regulations have been put in place to protect them from discrimination. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 requires that employers must treat pregnant women like any other employee provided they can do their job (Fremgen, 2009). This Act has protected women from losing their jobs and allowed them to advance even if they become pregnant or they needed a short leave for childbirth. A woman employee cannot be forced to quit her job due to pregnancy nor can a woman be refused a job because she has had an abortion (Fremgen, 2009).

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In addition, the pregnant woman has the assurance of equal treatment regarding disability, sick leave and health insurance. It stipulates that the pregnancy must be covered in the employer’s medical plan just like it would cover the other medical conditions. The employee also qualifies for sick leave on the same basis as other employees if she is unable to work due to the pregnancy. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act also prohibits mandatory maternity leave (Fremgen, 2009).

Discrimination against persons with disability in the workplace can also be experienced and this includes employees with AIDS. The Americans with disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 protects employees against discrimination from employers. It also covers persons living with the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) from discrimination based on their status. Employers are required to male reasonable accommodations such as lamp installations, making telephones and elevator floor numbers reachable to employees using wheelchairs (Fremgen, 2009).

Discrimination based on disability regarding full enjoyment of the services, goods, privileges, facilities and accommodations of all privately owned place of public accommodation which includes hospitals and professional offices (Fremgen, 2009).

Does the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1994 discriminate against working persons who do not have children or elderly parents?

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1994 allows both the mother and father to take a leave of absence, usually unpaid, of up to twelve weeks in any twelve-month period when a baby is born. It also requires employers to give unpaid leave to employees upon request to take care of their own or their family member’s medical or family related situation like birth, death and adoption (Fremgen, 2009).

Employees must have worked for the employer for at least a year, worked in a locality with at least fifty company employees in a radius of seventy five miles and must have worked 1,200 hours in the past twelve months in order to be eligible. A notice of thirty days in advance is required in cases of a foreseeable leave such as a birth. The employee’s health coverage during their family medical leave must be maintained as well as their original job position before the leave. Also the employee cannot lose employment benefits which accumulated before the start of the leave (Jachimowicz, 2010).

The Family and Medical Leave Act discriminates against employees without children or elderly parents because they are not entitled to request for leave because of a child birth because they do not have children. The request for the leave can only be made if they are having an adoption. This is discriminatory because the other employees having children will be the only beneficiaries of this provision even though they are working in the same environment as the other employees who are not having children. This can only apply if they are adopting a child. The same can be said about those employees who do not have elderly parents and who, consequently, are not eligible to take the Family and Medical Leave based on their need to take care of their elderly incapacitated parents.


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