25 Feb Who Should Provide the Care?
Last December the Supreme Court heard arguments about the workplace and pregnancy. A pregnant employee wanted UPS to accommodate her pregnancy by switching her to a job where she would not have to lift heavy packages. UPS refused, so the woman took unpaid leave while keeping her health insurance, and later sued in federal court stating that the UPS didn’t adhere to the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978.
In my home state, a bill has come before the legislature asking that pregnancy and breast feeding be included in the state non-discrimination law. Again the question becomes how much should employers do to accommodate pregnancy and breast feeding.
Along the same lines as the UPS case, new science is warning about the necessity of prenatal care and the possibility that a stressful job during pregnancy could cause a lifetime of health problems for the unborn child.
As the mother of 10 children. I fully understand that pregnant and breast feeding women need care and accommodation. It takes a lot of energy and nutrition to build a person. But who should care for and accommodate women and their children?
The question comes down to this: should the government mandate the care of the mother and baby to the woman’s employer? To me this question is not one of rights and regulations, but one of families.
This week, I read a rather sobering article. It said that 54% of children will not be raised in a home with both their mother and father. Many of these are abandoned mothers left to fend for themselves and their children. The majority of families are not taking care of their own.
This question would not have been asked in the past. In the past, families took care of their own. The father stayed with the mother and worked hard enough to support his family. When a father failed, the woman’s parents, siblings, or other extended family took over this care. I think the care of mothers and children should be on the shoulders of the families.
Instead of mandating that employers provide the needed care for mothers and babies, maybe the government should look at other policies that have encouraged this adult-centric world where sexual desires trump the essential needs of vulnerable women and children. The needs are real.
What do you think? Who should provide the care?