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Maternity leave is not a vacation

On Behalf of | Feb 9, 2022 | Workplace Discrimination |

When considering protections for pregnant workers or for new parents, it’s important for employers to remember that someone who goes on maternity leave is not going on a vacation. They’re not simply taking a break from their job. They’re not abusing this system to get paid for the time that they’re not at work – or even to take unpaid leave. 

To many people, this may sound obvious. But it’s a recurring problem in many areas of employment that company owners or CEOs look at pregnancy as a type of vacation. It’s important to push back against this perception to make sure that they don’t discriminate against these workers or try to take other action against them – such as firing a worker who has become pregnant so that they can be replaced with someone who is not. 

Why do people look at it this way? 

There are many reasons that this issue persists. In a lot of cases, it’s just that the employer is frustrated that they’re losing a valuable employee for a significant amount of time. They’re letting their emotions dictate how they look at things rather than being realistic and considering the law. 

The rise of gender equality in the workforce may also have contributed to this. It is far more common now for women and mothers to hold jobs than it was 50 years ago. If an employer started their company in a very different social climate, it might be difficult for them to get their head around the idea that things have changed and that workers have different roles and different rights. 

Of course, none of that makes this outlook okay. It’s very important for workers to understand what rights they do have and what steps to take if those rights are violated.