It should shock – and outrage – any mother (or anybody, for that matter!) to think that a woman could jeopardize her job simply by becoming pregnant. We’ve come so far in the last few decades, and anti-discrimination laws are on the books, yet there are still exceptions, even in the world of the rich and famous.
Camila (Alves) McConaughey, who’s expecting her third child with new husband Matthew, tells People that she found out she was pregnant right after signing on to be the new face of Macy’s I.N.C. International Concepts. It was just a week before her first photo shoot, and she worried that she might be told not to bother showing up.
“I was over the moon,” she says, “but my first reaction was that it was going to be a deal-breaker for the campaign — that they wouldn’t want a pregnant mom — but we worked it out.”
Is it really possible that Camila’s pregnancy could cost her work?
Believe it or not, yes. Pregnancy-related discrimination can and does still exist, and pregnant women do get fired. Most often, it’s because they request a special accommodation – like extra bathroom breaks or permission not to lift heavy objects until after the baby is born. Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations to disabled workers, but pregnancy isn’t considered a disability.
In the case of an actress or model, her agency or studio may require her to maintain a certain weight, or to avoid significantly altering her appearance (like getting a nose piercing or tattoo) without permission. And even though it would seem grossly unfair to cancel Camila’s modeling campaign, I.N.C. could have the right to do it if they could prove a pregnant model would hurt their business.
As it happens, Camila was the talk of the gossip sites the other night when she wore a body-hugging I.N.C. dress to the launch of the campaign. “Do not be afraid to be sexy while you’re pregnant,” she said to Us Weekly.
What do you think? Should more be done to protect the rights of pregnant workers?
[Photo: via PacificCoastNews.com]
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