A recent article by the ABC reports that pregnant women are now the most discriminated employees in the workforce, ahead of people with disabilities.
As if living longer and earning less than men were not enough, this represents yet another challenge for women at a time when they’d rather focus on carrying a perfectly healthy baby.
Workplace discrimination and bullying happened to two of my friends recently.
A girlfriend of mine who is pregnant was a victim of workplace bullying for many months. During her first trimester, she had to take several days off work here and there with morning sickness, fatigue or doctors’ visits, all of which occurs during pregnancy. She had a very difficult pregnancy and ended up in hospital for severe morning sickness, which meant she had to take sick days once or twice a week, every few weeks.
All the medical appointments were supported by a doctor’s certificate. However her manager believed otherwise and made disparaging remarks about her absence in front of her colleagues, to insinuate she had made up the illnesses. Her manager had a personal vendetta and saw this as an opportunity to get rid of her. He might have thought that making her life miserable would result in her resigning on her own accord.
He was certainly wrong! This friend brought in a lawyer to take on a major corporation. She kept a diary of what went on and negotiated a payout for two years’ pay.
Having come from the corporate world, I have seen the way of office politics. Like Survivor the reality TV show, you really have to play the game, form strategic alliances or you will be booted out.
They say that most people leave their job, not because of the job, but because of their manager. And incredibly I’ve seen this happen at all levels.
A male friend of mine was forced out of his role as director of sales at a company. His MD and him didn’t see eye to eye on the operations of the business. Unfortunately when you don’t get along with your manager, it can be very hard to survive in the same office for long.
Sensing that he was being targeted, my friend brought in a lawyer to negotiate a generous payout that would see him with a comfortable lifestyle for the next 9 to 12 months.
Do these examples give reason to believe, no matter how alarming the work situation, that we might actually have options?! When faced with a potential job loss, don’t go quietly into the night if you feel like you’re being targeted.
Find out what you are entitled to, and fight for it. It goes without saying though that this doesn’t apply if you are at fault or negligent in your role.
On a lighter note, Women In The Black is being syndicated to Australia’s new and big source of news The New Daily. You will see our articles on The New Daily, but of course you can read them on our website first.
Lastly, ladies in Australia let’s show support in stilettos on December 6 for Step Up For Sisterhood Day, in exchange of a gold coin. Enter to win a pair of Betts shoes by sharing the Step Up For Sisterhood Day logo on our Facebook page.
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