A guy walks into a bar and says “Why the pregnant barmaid?”

I will admit I did do a double take as her beautiful belly pushed gently against the serving area. Considering pregnant women and alcohol aren’t generally seen together (although I have heard that beer containing hops may be beneficial? Perhaps a discussion for another time)… I reminded myself, there is no smoke in these environments anymore and it was quite fabulous seeing a woman in all her preggie glory maneuvering her way up and down the narrow serving area, as she had likely done before she was pregnant. It was quite an art and she had it sorted.

She looked pretty gorgeous with her big boosies, glowing cheeks, and she looked pretty happy to me. I was a little envious of the inner-goddess she was exuding as she went about her work – as I am with most pregnant women I see out and about. They are all gorgeous to me!

This was about a month ago in a country Queensland pub.  However, I recently read that a Melbourne barmaid allegedly lost her job when she announced her pregnancy. Her boss believed patrons did not want to be served by a ‘pregnant’ woman.

Unbelievable. How a bump could offend anyone I just don’t know.

Bill Shorten, the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Financial Services and Superannuation, commented on the issue in a recent interview. He said:

“Did you know that 148,000 mums have now accessed the Government       Scheme which we introduced last year, which pays a certain number of weeks minimum wage. We are sending a very clear message that pregnancy is something to be celebrated…having kids shouldn’t be a bar to participating in the workforce.  We want to be able to help people make ends meet so that they are not making a choice between job and family.” (Ministers Media Centre interview with Belinda Heggan)

You can read the full interview here.

It seems that government policy is moving in the right direction.

Keeping your employment while pregnant is one thing – getting your maternity leave entitlements in another! RTimages via istockphoto

It’s also great to see some workplaces supporting their pregnant employees. I was recently in a hotel and noticed a pregnant staff member had a specially designed maternity uniform to allow for her growing belly. A fantastic idea and a great way to support this staff member – she looked great and was obviously much more comfortable than she would be if wearing an over-sized version of her regular uniform.

I just can’t imagine what reasoning the Melbourne pub owner may have had for thinking pregnancy is some sort of eyesore. Perhaps in his head he was justifying this blatant discrimination with something like….

“Sorry, I can’t employ you any longer, your boobs are like cannonballs and are starting to bust out of your uniform. My patrons may still enjoy flirting with your chest while ordering their beverage, but once they see your lower half, it may put them off ordering a second. While I’m ok with muffin tops, your belly is just a bit too large for me to cope with. You’re sacked.”

Has pregnancy been a problem for you or someone you know at your workplace?

~ alisha

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