Pregnancy Discrimination

The topic of the paper is discrimination in the labor market, and in particular discrimination of women in pregnancy.
Discrimination in labor relations is rather common phenomenon. It can be defined as unequal opportunities for workers with equal productivity, or unequal relation and treatment to them by employers, society and state. The problem of preventing discrimination in the employment relationship in its various aspects is one of the most pressing issues. The importance of the topic of the paper is due to the fact that in the democratic state the problem of protecting human rights and freedoms of citizens is of the first importance. Equal rights are the foundation of any democratic society. The problem of discrimination of women in the workplace and of women during pregnancy is especially acute, as it is in this area women need support from employers and government, to ensure adequate standard of living for themselves and their family. (Allen, 2002)

The aim of this paper is to brief the issue of discrimination in labor relations, namely, discrimination against women in pregnancy. Our task is to consider the definition and various forms of discrimination, as well as
and the causes of it. To this issue will be devoted the first chapter of the work. Mainly, there were used international legal documents and articles in periodicals, devoted to these issues. In the second chapter will be considered in detail the discrimination against women in pregnancy, its forms and legal aspects.

The concept of discrimination in labor relations
In a legal sense discrimination means unfair treatment of a person on a prohibited, unlawful basis. But it is impossible to equate discrimination and different attitude, since
differential treatment of people due to various factors is, in many cases, completely natural, reasonable and lawful.
Discrimination takes place when the unequal treatment on
certain grounds is prohibited by law. Thus, the difference in the relations and attitudes to people is not discrimination if it does not violate the existing legislation.

Discrimination can be defined as any form of negative attitudes towards an individual or group of persons, which is based on the characteristics that are not acceptable basis in certain conditions from the standpoint of the law. Thus, discrimination shall mean any distinction, exclusion or even
advantage, which prevents or impedes equal implementation of people’s rights. (Donohue, 2003)

In the international practice, the most complete definition of the term “discrimination” was produced in 1992 by the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law (ISDC), based in Lausanne: “Discrimination is a social event or situation, which is characterized by a distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference of, based on an arbitrary classification of individuals, groups or categories of persons on the basis, inter alia, of race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, economic status, birth or other circumstances, either natural or social characteristics, not related to personal abilities and merit, or to a specific person’s behavior, and if a certain person, group or category of persons covered negative attitude (in the sense that it is perceived as negative) due to any form of conduct (including omissions) of state bodies or individuals, and has the ultimate goal of a violation or destruction of the recognition, or exercise, on equal terms, human rights and freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life. (Weirich, 2002)

The working definition of discrimination is the following: Discrimination is special treatment of the person or group of people, expressed in the action or inaction, which is directly or indirectly associated with their distinctive features and is against the law. This definition is more clear, unambiguous and applicable in case law, because does not require additional interpretation. (Donohue, 2003)

Also it must be said about the direct and indirect forms of discrimination, which take place in employment relations. Direct discrimination occurs in the case where one person on the basis of his personal characteristics is treated less favorably, than would be treated in a similar situation another person, if the law forbids to make a distinction between people on the basis of these characteristics. Indirect discrimination occurs when there are set seemed neutral conditions, criterion or practices, assigning one person at a disadvantage compared with others unless these conditions, criteria or practices are not objectively justified by the law. It is indirect discrimination is most common in the employment relations.

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