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Parenting and the workplace: The construction of parenting protections in United States law

Creator: Eichner, Maxine

File Type: pdf | Filesize: 147.9 KB | Date Added: 2012-08-23 | Date Created: 2008-08-04

Abstract In this paper, I discuss the shortcomings of the legal protections that exist for pregnancy, breastfeeding, and parenting for United States' workers. The two main sources of protection for pregnancy and parenting in United States employment law are the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Both, I argue, contain inadequate protections for the needs of pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers, as well as their infants. I consider what it is about the way these statutes conceptualize the needs of pregnant women, mothers, and their babies, that prevents more robust protection of their needs. I then compare the minimal protection afforded American women and families with more progressive policies in other countries to highlight the possibilities that arise when the state affirmatively supports working parents and their children.