Amid Warren controversy, women are sharing their pregnancy discrimination horror stories

Women are sharing their own stories of pregnancy discrimination after conservative media outlets attempted to discredit presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass) claim that she faced pregnancy discrimination.

Warren maintains that she was fired from a teaching job in the 1970s because she was pregnant. However, media outlets are starting to contest her account because of how she previously described these events.

NBC News verified that Warren’s resignation was “accepted with regret” around her sixth month of pregnancy.

Women are tweeting their stories of pregnancy discrimination to show that this is still a problem many women in the workforce face.

Women are speaking out about how they were fired, passed over for promotions, or had offers rescinded allegedly due to pregnancy.

A post from Ask A Manager just last week went viral when the employer asked if they could fire a new hire because she was pregnant.

Many economic and gender studies experts agree that the wage gap in America largely stems from the “motherhood penalty.” The motherhood penalty refers to the implicit and explicit biases mothers in the workforce face.

While it is illegal to fire a woman for being pregnant, it can still happen under other pretenses. Additionally, the time women take off of work during pregnancy can result in a skill and experience gap that puts them behind men of the same age. Women may also choose lower-paying jobs if it means they get more flexibility with their schedule.

Motherhood puts women in a bind. Even if employers are accepting and do not formally penalize women for pregnancy, there is still social stigmas working mothers face and many women still take on more household responsibilities than their husbands whether they work full-time or not.

It is easy to see why so many women are speaking up.

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Esther Bell

Esther Bell

Esther Bell is a writer for the Daily Dot. She recently graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in journalism, and her work has appeared in Bustle and Teen Vogue.