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Switch to Forum Live View Pregnancy, interviews and potantially pregnancy hazardous jobs
4 years ago  ::  Sep 09, 2010 - 10:58AM #1
jesusfreakgal
Posts: 938

I know that in the usa (and probably canada as well) it is illegal to ask a woman if she is pregnancy during an interview. What about the case though where the job a woman is being interviewed for is potantiall hazardous/ dangerous for a pregnant woman? How does an interview make sure a pregnant woman doe snot get hied and then end up having her health/ babies health compromised because of the potantial pregnancy job hazards?


JFG

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4 years ago  ::  Sep 09, 2010 - 11:24AM #2
Farmergirl
Posts: 57

The way the law works is that if a job does have specific physical requirements or exclusions and is designated as such ahead of time, it is legal to ask about those physical requirements.  So, if the employer designated the job as hazardous to pregnancy up front, he would be able to ask about pregnancy.  Same thing as if there was a lifting requirement; employers can ask if there is any reason why you would not be able to lift x number of pounds.

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4 years ago  ::  Sep 09, 2010 - 11:59AM #3
Tolerant Sis
Posts: 4,201

Actually, that's not true.  Pregnancy is never, ever considered a rationale not to hire someone.  Women are allowed to terminate pregnancies, so whether a woman is pregnant at the moment of the interview is of no one's business except hers.  She's entitled to HIPAA privacy, regardless of her fertility status.


What the employer can do is state that, 'should a pregnancy occur', the job would be restricted during the pregnancy.  A woman who cannot lift an inert body during a fire and get out of a window during late pregnancy may be restricted to the fire house, working in the office, or answering the phone, or whatever, but she cannot be refused a job because she 'might' be pregnant.  A job that involves working with hazardous chemicals might be restricted to some other office job during the pregnancy.  But if the job would be offered to a male who 'might break a leg'; it cannot be denied to a woman who 'might get pregnant.  It's illegal and unconstitutional.

First amendment fan since 1793.
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4 years ago  ::  Sep 29, 2010 - 4:07PM #4
Ceren
Posts: 1,430

Sep 9, 2010 -- 11:24AM, Farmergirl wrote:


The way the law works is that if a job does have specific physical requirements or exclusions and is designated as such ahead of time, it is legal to ask about those physical requirements.  So, if the employer designated the job as hazardous to pregnancy up front, he would be able to ask about pregnancy.  Same thing as if there was a lifting requirement; employers can ask if there is any reason why you would not be able to lift x number of pounds.





In Canada you're not allowed to do that (i.e. ask about pregnancy status). If there are physical requirements that she won't be able to do while she's pregnant, then she goes on maternity leave and continues working once her maternity leave ends.

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4 years ago  ::  Oct 03, 2010 - 7:09AM #5
jesusfreakgal
Posts: 938

Ok, you are probably right about canada. But what about if the person is not yet hired? If one is quite early in their pregnancy that would either mean that woman would have to start her maternity leave quite early and wouldn't get the fully year off once the baby is born, particularly if it turns out she needs it. I know often in the usa women do not get that much time off. One of my friends had a baby 8 weeks early (so she was off a bit earlier then expected, but not by much), and if that baby, at least for the first year of life required extra care, then it would be difficult if she had been born sooner (without needing more care then she would if born 8 weeks early). If the only option for her parents was daycare, they likely would be in a position where few, if any daycares would not accept this child because of the special care my friends daughter could need. Take the Duggars baby. If Michelle actually worked, and the kids WENT to a school for education, she would either have to expect that her older children would care for the youngest (very premie) baby girl, or they would have to look into daycare, But because she at least was on oxygen for quite some time, they might have to say no because daycare workers are NOT trained in such things. Also, I believe there are some jobs that are potentially hazardous to people's health in general (such as housekeepers at a hotel, for example or persons working with dangerous chemicals) where pretty much right from the day a woman knows she is pregnant they are dangerous. But with some chemical related jobs (like the hotel housekeeper I mentioned), a pregnant woman might not know if, or just how hazardous those cleaners really are to the health of her unborn baby. If the employer knows, then maybe it could be mentioned either in the job ad (if they used one) or mentioned in the interview in such a way as warning, a just in case (unless that would be wrong/ against the law).


JFG

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4 years ago  ::  Oct 13, 2010 - 11:31AM #6
Tolerant Sis
Posts: 4,201

At the risk of opening a can of worms, simply becoming pregnant does not mean that one will automatically become a mother.  Women can and do terminate pregnancies. 


And it is no one's business except her own if she does.


Now, the employer is under an obligation to inform the woman of hazards on the job, just as he is obligated to inform men of the chance that the job will involve getting run over by a forklift or whatever, but armed with the information, the employer has NO paternalistic rights about whom he will hire for a particular job.  


It is ILLEGAL in the US to ask a woman about her fertility or pregnancy status when considering whether to hire her.  It is simply illegal.

First amendment fan since 1793.
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4 years ago  ::  Oct 15, 2010 - 10:27PM #7
Ceren
Posts: 1,430

Oct 3, 2010 -- 7:09AM, jesusfreakgal wrote:


Also, I believe there are some jobs that are potentially hazardous to people's health in general (such as housekeepers at a hotel, for example or persons working with dangerous chemicals) where pretty much right from the day a woman knows she is pregnant they are dangerous. But with some chemical related jobs (like the hotel housekeeper I mentioned), a pregnant woman might not know if, or just how hazardous those cleaners really are to the health of her unborn baby. If the employer knows, then maybe it could be mentioned either in the job ad (if they used one) or mentioned in the interview in such a way as warning, a just in case (unless that would be wrong/ against the law).




In Canada the it varies between provinces regarding how long you have to be working to be entitled to full maternity leave, as well as the length of the maternity leave.


In general we get around 16 weeks of maternity leave plus 52 weeks of parental leave. So you do get lots of time off.


With regards to the job itself:


a. It is not the employer's obligation to post what can be or cannot be appropriate for a pregnant woman. If the employee tells him/her that she's pregnant, then yes he has to contact the occupational safety office.


b. Usually the pregnant woman will ask the doctor. The doctor will usually contact the safety commission of the province who will tell the employer which things the pregnant employee can or can't do, can or can't handle


I think that for most housekeeping jobs you can do almost everything except lifting heavy weights, etc. But most cleaning products are OK per the occupational safety commission.

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4 years ago  ::  Jan 19, 2011 - 10:45PM #8
Erey
Posts: 18,572

IT seems to me they ask you if you are pregnant or might be pregnant about once a year or so for dental X-rays.  There are also other situations where they ask if you might be pregnant like before you give blood.


It seems to me if the situation is truly hazardous to pregnant women they almost legaly need to ask.  Far be it from some female job applicant to not understand the meaning of "hazardous to pregnant women" and despite general warnings went ahead and did the job anyway. 

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