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Minnesota Law Review

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pregnancy and employment, family leave laws, sexual discrimination


Family Law | Health Law and Policy | Law | Law and Gender


Despite the renaissance of pregnancy-related scholarship over the past decade, 322 very little has been documented empirically regarding the status of pregnant women in the labor market. As such, scholars and advocates have been constrained in their ability to assess both the adequacy of current legislation and the relative urgency for new legislation. Furthermore, in the absence of labor market data, they have been limited in their ability to propose reform measures that can target the pregnant women most in need of assistance. This Article has taken an initial step towards filling these critical gaps in the literature, utilizing a health behaviors dataset with a sufficiently large sample of pregnant women to examine their welfare, in terms of employment, over the past quarter-century. Using these data, this Article has argued that, in light of the stark employment gaps faced by pregnant women-gaps that widen tremendously for heavier women, disabled women, women with low educational attainment, and women living in low-income households-improving legislative protections surrounding pregnancy should be a priority for civil rights' advocates.



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