Do Mothers Face Job Discrimination After Returning to the Workforce?

Are mothers discriminated against?Women may face workplace discrimination during and after pregnancy. This is especially true for women who are transitioning back into the workforce after a long period of absence.

A recent article in The Huffington Post discussed the story of a woman who experienced difficulty returning to work after taking time off to raise her children. The woman in question had prior work experience at a university and a master’s degree in education, making her more than qualified for many jobs.

Despite sending out 50 resumes, she was only called into three interviews. After a year of fruitless job searching, she finally landed a career working in customer service at a finance company.

Is this woman’s story unique, or is it perhaps more common than we realize? As it turns out, mothers who take time off to raise children are heavily penalized if they return to work. For example, mothers who return to work after a period of absence lower their earning potential. U.S. Census data analyzed by the National Women’s Law Center also claims mothers make 73 cents for every dollar earned by fathers.

Mocha Moms, a nonprofit for African American mothers, conducted a survey to discover the severity of this issue. According to its research, 53.7 percent of mothers surveyed wanted to return to work, but were having problems getting hired.

Is Job Discrimination Against Mothers Illegal?

There are some cases where job discrimination against mothers is illegal under federal law. Let’s say for example a mother is hired, but given a lower-paid position solely because she has caregiving responsibilities. Such an action could be illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act or the Americans with Disabilities Act (depending on the circumstances).

Another example could be preferential treatment of female workers without children over female workers who are also parents. Like all forms of discrimination, legal options are available. However, collecting evidence of discrimination can be crucial when deciding to take legal action.

The Los Angeles employment attorneys at the Law Offices of Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob can help workers who are experiencing workplace discrimination.



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