Can a woman be rejected for a job if she is pregnant? This is a tough question to answer, depending upon the medical condition; an eligible woman should be hired for, even if she is pregnant. The government has some laws based on this issue that protect a woman from discrimination. However, in the real world; most of the employers don’t follow this rule.
Due to loopholes in Indian Judiciary System, many employers get a chance to avoid the obligations they may face after they reject a pregnant woman for a job. But there does exist a law that protects a woman from any pregnancy discrimination.
One cannot overlook that there are many jobs that won’t be recommended for a pregnant woman because job conditions may deteriorate the health of the woman which may affect the baby and the mother.
On many occasions, an employer rejects a pregnant woman based on discrimination and rejects her by stating the fact that they have found a better candidate.
This kind of scenario is not common in Governmental jobs, but in private sector, many pregnant women have faced this issue. In corporate sectors, small companies even terminate pregnant woman from their active roster by stating irrelevant issues. Although not all corporate companies follow this trend but in various small businesses, this situation is common.
Government Sector has some strict guidelines based on which they can’t refuse a woman depending upon her pregnancy condition. Even large companies in private sector follow a systematic pattern where most of the time they tend to hire woman even if she pregnant.
A famous example of a woman getting hired during her pregnancy is the hiring process of Marisa Mayer who is the current CEO of Yahoo. As big companies have reputation to maintain, they mostly accept a pregnant woman for a job only if she is eligible for the position thus baring themselves from any discrimination issue. However, in small companies they usually reject woman from a job because they became a leverage to the company.
For example, if an employer is hiring a pregnant for a position that doesn’t have timing flexibility and needs the employee to travel often, then it would arouse a situation of leverage. Moreover a pregnant woman may need a maternity leave anytime after 4 to 5 months of pregnancy until her baby and she are comfortable for her to return to work
Government Rules on This Issue
Most of the government rules prevent working woman from getting sacked from the job during pregnancy. And most of the government organizations appoint an eligible woman for any position in their enterprise even if she is pregnant.
According to Maternity Benefit Act of the government, a working woman cannot be sacked from her position and must be provided with all the amenities during her pregnancy. So there isn’t any kind of compulsion on the interviewer to hire a pregnant woman by any kind of law, and it totally depends on ethics and criteria of the HR and administration of the company.
However, in some countries, the situation is different as there are various federal and state that prohibit discrimination in the hiring process of companies depending on their pregnancy or pregnancy-related condition.
They even allow the woman to make discrimination claim and have the facility to file a complaint against the company. However recently High Court has passed a petition where they have highlighted that employment can’t be refused to pregnant women whether it a government or private enterprise.
Pregnancy is a god gift for a woman
Pregnancy is a god gift for a woman, and everyone should respect this situation. She would do her work while carrying a baby in her womb. Only a dedicated woman would have the courage to apply for a job or carry on with her work in an office.
Scenario in Private Jobs
In private jobs, the discrimination in hiring on the basis of pregnancy condition varies from company to company. Many multinational enterprises, as well as reputed corporate firms, hire a woman even if she is pregnant.
They provide various perks to them like flexible working hours, maternity leave, pick up and drop, etc. However small companies tend to avoid appointing new recruits if they find they are pregnant. They even fire employees if they find they are pregnant or force them to have non-paid holidays because they would incur a loss.
Scenario in Government Jobs
Government enterprises are quite liberal with this fact, and if a woman is eligible for the position, they will hire her even if she is pregnant. This is the reason why pregnant women try to search latest recruitment in Govt. Sector. Most the government enterprises, abide by the laws relating to this.
There is hardly any discrimination in hiring in this sector based on pregnancy. Rather they provide a lot of amenities to the pregnant woman to make sue the working conditions are comfortable and safe.
Aid from Law and Agencies
If a woman is rejected from a job depending upon her pregnancy condition rather than merit, then that woman can make a claim or file complaint against the company.
Nowadays, there are Women Commission, Planning Commission, and various other government bodies that help a woman fight against this prejudice.
Even various NGO like OYSS Woman, Lions Club, Care NGO, Swathing, etc. have come forward to punish enterprises that are practicing this type of discrimination against woman.
About the writer:
This article is written by Priya Nagrale. She is blogger and runs a blog MoneyConnexion. She is mom and working from home from past few years. She guides moms revamp their careers.