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Abstract

This Comment examines discrimination against mothers in the workplace, including discrimination against women on the basis of pregnancy, childcare, and breast-feeding, and proposes that new legislation is necessary in order to create equal opportunities for men and women, at work and at home. The Parental Discrimination Act (PDA) specifically tries to remedy the embedded assumptions and biases that lie beneath discrimination against pregnant women and mothers. Yet, until the embedded assumptions and biases that form the basis for the current work-family structure are eradicated, women and men will not be able to enjoy equal opportunities both at work and at home. Part I of this Comment lays out the history of discrimination against pregnant women and mothers at work, and examines the legislation designed to promote equality between men and women in the workplace, focusing on Title VII (sex-plus cases and the PDA). It then looks at Title VII decisions to discern the state of the law and note the areas where pregnant women and mothers are not protected from discrimination. Part II contrasts the current status of the law with the proposals of various legal theorists and offers a critique of the effects of the current statutory framework. Part III suggests an accounting of the holes in the statutory framework and proposes new legislation to stiffen the protections given to pregnant women and mothers in the workplace.

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