Verizon fires pregnant employee: Can companies penalize women during pregnancy?

Plenty of layoffs at the major IT company, Verizon, is happening more and more and these layoffs are angering people. And a nasty case where a pregnant woman was terminated has been enraging many people.

The case against Verizon.

This happened in Hyderabad, India and no one can believe how the company can be so heartless to the point of laying off a woman who is in her third month of pregnancy. A woman, in the third month of her pregnancy, was laid off by Verizon even though she begged them to not lay her off due to the fact that she is pregnant and needs to be financially secure to support the child.

This woman was a software tester at Verizon, and the company’s HR had demanded her to resign. The woman is understandably scared and upset, and even said while the HR personnel and Delivery Head were having a meeting with her about it privately- they did not care, and were just very unconcerned even though she is pregnant and will need to support her child in several months.

The only form of “consolation” they gave her was that the insurance policy would cover her financial requirements but that was not at all comforting to the woman.

It got to a point that she approached Labor Commission against the termination of her role at Verizon, and it was also noted that 4 other employees have been fighting with HR at Verizon due to illegal layoffs.

It has been noted that over 900 employees have been laid off by Verizon, and IT welfare groups have been making it known that these employees have been forced to resign in inhumane manners.

The sad thing is this definitely not the first case where a pregnant woman was laid off, and this was not the first case of a pregnant woman being laid off by an IT company either.

Even though the laws are different in each country, whereas the law in the United States is different from the laws of India, there is still a law that is for maternity benefits, as a pregnant woman cannot be fired or laid off for the fact that she is pregnant; and she is entitled to maternity benefits.

However, even though this is part of the law, this law does not stop pregnant women being discriminated against and being the first ones to be laid off like in situations like what happened at Verizon.

Women that are pregnant are still penalized for being pregnant, and even after many women in that situation have gone to court and have won, it doesn’t help the overall picture. It is sad that they had to turn to the justice system in the first place because of their employers violating the law. These employers see that pregnant women are nothing other than liabilities in the workforce. Women should not have to make a choice between and having a career.

The sad thing is, this happens in every country whether it is in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or India like in this case.

Sad reality for women.

This is a horrible reality for women in general who work hard and want to help provide for their families. Not to mention, it is far more expensive to live now than it was fifty years ago when women were homemakers and men were the ones working and were the main breadwinners.

However, today, both parents have to work in order to be financially secure so they can properly provide for their families. And yet, still, women are treated poorly when it comes to working.

It doesn’t matter how creative, intelligent, hardworking and reliable she is. Because of the fact she is a woman, she will be discriminated against in one form or another.

Even if the woman is not laid off, she could be sexually harassed by male coworkers and not have anything done about it. That is a sign that women at work are not taken seriously. Even pregnant women who aren’t laid off are treated poorly at work, and have poor maternity leave benefits, and are given a hard time if they have to pump at work if they have an infant at home. She is treated like a liability in the workforce and she can’t help but feel that way as well.

The only form of anxiety men feel at work may be about their size, their looks or stature. However, their bodies are not subject to the same kind of public scrutiny and stigma. Men will not be excluded from the workforce based on how intelligent, good looking or strong they appear.

This is exactly why feminism has become more fierce as time goes on. Women who are feminists are not looking to appear to be superior to men. They want nothing other than equality, but the fact that women are not treated any better now than they were decades ago only forces feminism to be bolder and create stronger messages.

Another example of how women are treated poorly in the workforce is when a British firm that had a large number of female employees had announced that paid time for severe period pain would be offered. Therefore, plenty of tension was created as a result by male employees and was not looked upon favorably in general.

It is hard to know if or when women and men will be treated equally in the workforce, but even once it does- if it ever gets to that point, women will have to keep defending their rights.

Yes, they get periods, they have PMS, they have women-related issues, they will get pregnant, and will give birth. They deserve the same rights as men. There is no excuse to keep laying off women, especially when they are pregnant when they need to help provide for their families. It isn’t fair to make a woman choose between having a family and having a career. She shouldn’t be forced to feel she can’t get pregnant, or she may wait too long – and then give up on the dreams of a family forever, all because of worries over job security.

Most men don’t make enough money to sustain a family anymore since the cost of living is high and will only get higher as time goes on. Women need to work too. Not to mention, it is not the woman’s job to only be a homemaker and a mother. She has the right to be working whether she is pregnant or not.