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Author Topic: Women less likely to be employed if married?
CitizenAim
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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Today I was thinking today about a business writing class I took about a year ago. It was probably the most enlightening class I took in college, mostly because the professor had a habit of bringing up controversial workplace topics.

One day, he commented that for all the women in the class that if they are married or engaged and are interviewing for a job, there is one thing they can do to significantly increase their chance of getting the job and then gestured at removing a finger from his ring finger.

His argument was that employers will assume that if a woman is engaged or married, her chance of having a child and needing to take maternity leave are higher.

Is this even legal? I don't even know where to look for statistics on this kind of thing because it sounds like a very under-the-table move on an employer's part.

Has anyone had any personal experience with this sort of issue?

I can't seem to find any statistics--maybe I'm just using the wrong terms when I search Google.

The best I could find was from a review on a book about affirmative action:

quote:
The situation for women scientists in the federal government was somewhat better than in education or industry, in that women were frequently hired without regard to marital status and (in some cases) without regard to age. Women were also more likely to be promoted, and to be given awards or other official recognition of their achievements.

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Seaboe Muffinchucker
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by CitizenAim:
His argument was that employers will assume that if a woman is engaged or married, her chance of having a child and needing to take maternity leave are higher.

No, this is not legal in the U.S. It is considered a form of sex discrimination. However, it is rumored to have been standard practice--50 years ago. Makes me wonder what era your professor lives in.

Seaboe

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Education is not the filling of a hard drive, but the lighting of a bulb. -- Yeats via Esprise Me

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wee wifey
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by Seaboe Muffinchucker:
quote:
Originally posted by CitizenAim:
His argument was that employers will assume that if a woman is engaged or married, her chance of having a child and needing to take maternity leave are higher.

No, this is not legal in the U.S. It is considered a form of sex discrimination. However, it is rumored to have been standard practice--50 years ago. Makes me wonder what era your professor lives in.

Seaboe

whilst it's not legal (same here in the UK) I can imagine that some employers do still discriminate on these grounds. All they have to do is claim that they found "a more qualified candidate" or "your skill set did not match those of the position" or some other nonsense and you have no way of knowing whether that is true or you have been discriminated against (this also holds for other discriminations)

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once known as little miss

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Rhiandmoi
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Every grown up job I've had has emphasized their generous maternity leave and family support policies. I think it probably depends on the industry and what kind of job you are looking for.

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I think that hyperbole is the single greatest factor contributing to the decline of society. - My friend Pat.

What is .02 worth?

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Ana Ng
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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In other news, kids are likely to whine, Bush is likely to **** up, and two new celebrity couples will SPLIT! this week!

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BlushingBride
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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I don't know about women who just happen to be married or engaged, but a recent study showed it was true for women with children.
Linky Didn't we discuss this then?

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abigsmurf
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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quote:

""They have a job to fill, and they want to be able to ask a woman if she has children or if she is going to have children so they know if she will leave. I tell them you have no more reason to ask ... than you would to ask a man if he is going to have a medical disability," Gartrell says"

If someone has a disability that could effect their work or if they know they will potentially will have to undergo major surgery, they HAVE to tell potential employers.

If he's just comparing a PLANNED pregnancy to a medical emergency then that's just an irrelevant comparrison.

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pinqy
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Well, it is true that women have a lower laborforce participation rate and lower employment level. That's changing and the rates for male and female are a lot closer than they used to be. There's no way to tell how much is discrimination and how much is conforming to "traditional roles." Married women are more likely to be secondary earners and part time workers than men or single women. The difference isn't as great as it used to be, but it's still there.

www.bls.gov is your source for these type statistics.

pinqy

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pinqy
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by abigsmurf:
If someone has a disability that could effect their work or if they know they will potentially will have to undergo major surgery, they HAVE to tell potential employers.

In the US that's not necessarily true. Employers are not allowed to ask if you have a disability or to inquire as to its severity. They can ask if you can perform the essential duties and ask you to describe or demonstrate how you will perform the duties. If you can perform the essential duties with or without reasonable accomodation, they cannot refuse to hire you because of the disability.

If you have a disability you do not have tell your employer. However, if you require special accomodations you should let them know because they are not required to provide accomodations they're not aware of, only those they are. If you do require special accomodations, then it's only fair that you mention this before you're hired.

pinqy

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Don't Forget!
Winter Solstice Hanukkah Christmas Kwanzaa & Gurnenthar's Ascendance Are Coming!

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abigsmurf
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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In the UK it's required for you to specicfy disabilities if they could affect your work but on the flipside, employers have to make reasonable adjustments but if it's not really possible for them to make adjustments they can say they're unable to employ them.

It's mostly to stop people with back conditions going applying for heavy lifting jobs so they can sue when they don't get it.

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Lydia Oh Lydia
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It's not legal.

That being said, it does happen. My former boss would ask people (generally women) if they had a boyfriend, fiance, husband, children. The idea was that if any the woman had any of those people in her life, there would be less time for work (time spent with husband, children's schedules, etc.).

Oh, and my former boss? He's a lawyer.

Just because it's not legal, doesn't mean that it doesn't happen.

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Cambion
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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I figure employers don't want to hire women with young kids because they assume Mommy will have to run home every other day for two hours to wipe Junior's nose. As Lydia said, employers know if women are occupied by partners or kids, time and effort will be taken away from work, in comparison to les lost time from single unchilded women.

On the other hand, I have heard stories from women on another forum about how they were refused jobs solely because of the fact that they were not mothers. Just goes to show that, even after all these years, women are still seen as being lower than men. I mean the fact that women with bachelor's degrees make about half as much as men with the same degrees is a pretty obvious indication, but I digress - I don't want to get into the whole discrimination thing. That rant will be for another topic.

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liebeslied
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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quote:
Originally posted by Lydia Oh Lydia:
My former boss would ask people (generally women) if they had a boyfriend, fiance, husband, children. The idea was that if any the woman had any of those people in her life, there would be less time for work (time spent with husband, children's schedules, etc.).


So a woman will spend lots of times with her boyfriend/husband, but a man won't spend much time with his partner?
Math was not your ex-boss's strong suit, I see. Did he sue people for jillions of dollars?

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Lydia Oh Lydia
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liebeslied - You're correct in his reasoning. Women spend more times taking care of (not just being with) their BFs, DHs, etc. and more time taking care of children than men.

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"My name is the symbol for my identity and must not be lost." Motto of the Lucy Stone League.

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Cold DecEmbra Brings The Sleet
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quote:
In the UK it's required for you to specicfy disabilities if they could affect your work
Have you got a cite for that abigsmurf? My understanding of the situation in the UK is that it is now similar to that in the US as outlined by pinqy: an employee does not have to tell an employer about a disability but the employer would not be penalised for failing to make adjustments if they could not reasonably have been aware of the disability. There is a statutory definition of disability which is not specifically related to your ability to perform a particular job, but rather the effect your conditions has on your "ability to carry out normal day to day activities".

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Doc J.
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That's very interesting Embra. For most jobs I've applied for, I've had to fill in very detailed "health surveillance" forms, which include the question "do you consider yourself to be disabled ?"

These forma also require a signed declaration to the effect that all information given is correct.

Am I therefore legally allowed to lie on these forms, or better still refuse to fill them in ?

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liebeslied
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quote:
Originally posted by Lydia Oh Lydia:
liebeslied - You're correct in his reasoning. Women spend more times taking care of (not just being with) their BFs, DHs, etc. and more time taking care of children than men.

Oh...so that's why I can never hold on to a boyfriend. They look at me funny when I say "I cooked dinner, so you should clean up."

(I'm not saying all men are like that. I just pick the wrong ones.)

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Cold DecEmbra Brings The Sleet
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
Am I therefore legally allowed to lie on these forms, or better still refuse to fill them in ?
Ah, abigsmurf's post implied to me that there was some kind of legal requirement for employees to volunteer information without being asked. If you're asked for information then a potential employer will probably just walk away if you don't provide it. However, knowledge of an employee's disability then obliges an employer to consider "reasonable adjustments", which they don't have to consider if they don't know about your condition. Swings and roundabouts.

I'm interested in the signed declaration: surely you can only say that the info is correct "to the best of your knowledge" or something like that?

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I want you to lay down your life, Perkins. We need a futile gesture at this stage. It will raise the whole tone of the war.

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Paulie Jay
O Little Down-Payment of Bethlehem


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In Australia it is certainly illegal to discriminate on maternal grounds, though like other posters have mentioned, I'm sure that it does happen in spite of the law.

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sleeepy2
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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Good thing only married women can get pregnant, otherwise this issue could get all muddied.
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Troodon
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by sleeepy2:
Good thing only married women can get pregnant, otherwise this issue could get all muddied.

It's a matter of statistics - I expect that married women are more likely to get pregnant than unmarried women, and so if your employees getting pregnant is a bad thing for you, then it makes sense for you to prefer hiring unmarried women over married women, or men over women in general. That doesn't mean that you have to think that only married women get pregnant.

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liebeslied
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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Also, perhaps a married new mom is more likely to quit or take a longer maternity leave than an unmarried mom, since they have their spouses' income and health insurance.
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