Fighting for Women's Equality

ERA Report Highlights Gaps In Progress for Pregnant Workers and Working Families 50 Years after Enactment of Title VII

December 4, 2014 | by

Equal Rights Advocates (ERA), a national civil rights organization dedicated to protecting and expanding economic and educational access and opportunities for women and girls, has released the second installment of a three-part report that examines the impact of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 on the economic opportunity and security of women in the United States over the last 50 years.

Although much progress has been made, “Moving Women Forward on the 50th Anniversary of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act” finds three persistent barriers to equal opportunity for women in the U.S.:

  • Sexual harassment and violence
  • Discrimination against pregnant workers and working mothers
  • The gender wage gap

These barriers are particularly steep for low wage women workers and women of color.

Part Two of the report, “Work and Family Still at Odds,” highlights the persistence of discrimination against pregnant workers and other barriers to fair employment and economic security faced by working families. Fifty years after the passage of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 30 years since Equal Rights Advocates argued the first pregnancy discrimination case at the United States Supreme Court, working families still struggle to balance the needs of their families within workplaces that lack family-friendly policies.

“Discrimination against pregnant workers and working families may be at an all-time high,” said Noreen Farrell, Executive Director of ERA.  “This report outlines specific steps we can take as a society to restore and expand protections for working families, and ensure that no one has to choose between their family and their job .”

The report, which addresses both the bright spots and blind spots of Title VII compliance, outlines specific measures needed to move women forward on the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. These suggested actions will correct misinterpretations of Title VII, improve enforcement of this law and others designed to advance women at work, and fill policy gaps that leave too many without the help and protection they need.  A copy of the complete report and ERA’s recommendations for action are available here.

To read the first installment of “Moving Women Forward,” which addresses sexual harassment and violence in the workplace, click here.

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