According to a Chinese women’s publication, pregnancy discrimination is rife in China, despite existing anti-discrimination laws. Ignorance of the laws by employers and employees is a big reason, as is lax monitoring by the government.
They report that “Some Chinese companies require their female employees to agree not to get married or have a child within a certain number of years at the risk of paying a fine or being fired. Some employers, upon finding out that an employee is pregnant, may give them a poor work performance appraisal to lower their income or force them to resign by creating financial and other difficulties for them so that the employers do not have to pay compensation.”*
Just a few days ago, as a protest and “to raise awareness of unlawful employment termination of pregnant employees” college students “dressed up as pregnant women held up a banner and sang a song in front of an office building in Beijing” An organizer said that “she hoped the protest would place pressure on employers to treat female employees more fairly.”
*In an unrelated story, but somewhat illustrative of comparative developments across the world, Law360 has just reported that a Pennsylvania state senator will introduce a bill to ban “parental and marital profiling,” i.e., prohibiting employers from asking job applicants about their marital status and whether they have or intend to have children.