The COVID-19 crisis has turned the workplaces upside down. Under the circumstances of the COVID-19 crisis, many of the employees quit their job. However, many of them are totally in the “always-on” mode that the boundary between work and home has removed. Mainly for working women, the COVID crisis has molded them differently, most of the women were forced to leave their jobs too. Although Women play a significant role in the economy that holds the society together. However, their work is not valued in the way that men’s work is. In workplaces, women are prone to be employed at a low salary or unpaid work despite basic Women’s Rights.
In many workplaces, female workers have systematically denied their rights to regular pay and regular working hours; equal pay for equal work; safe working environments. Thus, women need to know their rights, and how to exercise them to make themselves strong. Therefore, in this article, we will discuss some of such rights guaranteed under the law.
Basic Women Rights in a Workplace
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
This act came at the end of the great depression for the improvement of working conditions. The Fair Labor Standards Act set a limit for working hours per week, the wage of the employees, overtime pay. Also, these acts ban child labor in companies. Although this act is not for women, specifically banning child labor changes the livelihood of a mother for the better. However, this act has been amended more than 20 times. The limit of working hours per week and salary increases with the amendment.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act
This act is one of the most significant rights which recognizes every human being as equal. However, specifically, Title VII restricts the discrimination by high professionals of the company. Discrimination might be any action based on color, race, sex, religion, or ethnicity. This law makes it compulsory that any employer should not do any kind of discrimination during the hiring process of a candidate. Therefore, with the help of this act, women in the workplace will not be discriminated against specifically because of their gender. This law applies to the employer who has 15 or more than 15 employees under them.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978
This act is an amendment to The Civil Rights Act. In many companies or jobs, women simply resign when they are pregnant. According to this Act, the employer’s demand for taking leave, health benefits during leaves, and reinstatement after leave equally applies to pregnant women and other employees. Also, employers cannot make decisions about hiring the applicants or firing or promoting workers based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. After the announcement of this Act, statistics show that the PDA increases the labor force participation rate of pregnant women by 8.2 percentages.
Equal Pay Act of 1963
This Act provides all employees with equal pay for equal work to finish gender inequality in the workplace. President John F. Kennedy signs this act into law. This is the first federal anti-discrimination law that applies to wage differences based on gender. Men and women working for the companies must be paid the same rate of pay for the work that is substantially equal in skill, effort, responsibility, working conditions, and establishments. This law makes it illegal to pay different salaries for employees for equal work.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Mainly, this act is to help employees of companies to manage their responsibilities of family and work. This is done by allowing them to take unpaid leave for some kind of family and medical reasons. This Act applies not only to companies but also to public and private schools. According to this law, employees are eligible for the leave of 12 weeks per year for several reasons as follows:-
For the birth and care of a newborn child of an employee.
For the care of a close family member in his/her serious health condition.
To take leave from work when an employee is unable to do work due to medical reasons.
The Whistleblower Protection Act
This act is for the protection of workers who speak against inappropriate working conditions in the workplace. The Whistleblower Protection Act might be an important women’s right as it is more a condition that women will report sexual harassment or discrimination. It makes them comfortable and strengthens them to come out and talk about their issues, without the fear of repercussions. However, this act encourages women working in companies to stand for themselves.
Steps Companies Should Take
While these laws support women on a broader level, every company should have provisions that make the workplace better for women there.
A targeted gender ratio is an important starting point for companies. Some workplaces might have high ratio than others, but there should a decided aim. That there should be a distinct percentage of females.
However, only recruitment should not be the only aim. Although, there should be equal treatment for everyone. It is important to have basic spaces for women like separate first aid rooms, well-facilitated rooms that suit women’s needs.
Organizations should modify or introduce new policies that aim at women’s security. To support women, companies should have sexual harassment communities that ensure zero-tolerance against any misbehavior.
Therefore, as a working woman, knowing your rights, will; help you work with ease. They help in a better workplace experience. These are some of the women’s rights that ensure that you must be treated equally and fairly. Therefore, knowing these laws will be a great tool to rise in your career.