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Safety Policies For Pregnant Employees Must Go

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While you have a duty to protect employees' health and safety, you have no extra duty to protect pregnant employees from dangerous work conditions.  The U.S. Supreme Court declared in 1991 that decisions about the welfare of future children must be left to the parents who conceive, bear, support, and raise them, rather than to the employers who hire those parents or to the courts.  But some employers still haven't gotten the message that paternalistic concern for a woman's unborn child violates Title VII, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.

From January 1998 until at least April 2005, a hospital had in place the following policy to restrict exposure to radiation: "All pregnant personnel must immediately report pregnancy status to the director…The pregnant personnel shall not partake in any fluoroscopy or portable procedures during her term.  This will ensure safety and protection."

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