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Don’t Ask a Worker if Her Period Hurts, and Don’t Fire Her for Missing Work: Six Keys to Menstrual Sickness

Latest NewsDon't Ask a Worker if Her Period Hurts, and Don't Fire Her for Missing Work: Six Keys to Menstrual Sickness

In the draft abortion law being worked on by the Department of Equality, one of the most contentious sections concerns the possibility that women suffering from severe menstrual cramps that make them unable to work may be detained. sick leave for this reason. An approach that changes the current ecosystem of work because it requires changes in both the private and public spheres, and that raises all sorts of unknowns among the people who could benefit from this regulatory change. Here are some of the doubts that women with painful periods may have.

Can I be asked at an interview about painful periods?

No. Interviewers may not ask job applicants any intimate questions, not because these are questions that belong to the private sphere of people, but because the answers to these questions can lead to situations of discrimination. Continuing the assumption of painful rules, an affirmative answer to this question would probably cause the candidate to be rejected in relation to another not suffering from this circumstance, or a man; hence it is not possible. According to legal sources, when faced with such questions, the interviewee has the right not to answer and even to report on the company.

Can I be fired for going on vacation for this reason?

Sick leave for menstrual cramps is not in and of itself grounds for dismissal, as is the case if sick leave is related to some other health problem. In fact, although it is not at all common for companies to justify firing an employee for this reason, if in the course of litigation – in the case of a dismissed employee going to court – it turns out that the only reason for dismissing an employee is that the sick leave was taken, or that it is being periodically (in the case of menstruation, this can be every month), then, most likely, the dismissal will be invalidated and the employee will return to his position. If an employee suspects that she was fired for sick leave for this reason, and can prove it, then she will show that she was basically discriminated against just because she is a woman, and therefore a wrongful act will be committed by the company.

Is it possible to take vacation during painful periods without this law?

Yes, just as sick leave may be granted for other pain reported by the patient, such as lower back pain or migraine. If a patient comes to the doctor with very painful periods, the doctor may decide that this makes her unable to work and give her a sick leave. But it’s not very common, according to several primary care physicians.

Does the process change anything?

The truth is that many realities converge in everyday life. In the field of medicine, for example, it happens that the ability to measure pain is associated with a high degree of subjectivity “each person has his own threshold”, so each doctor must determine whether, for example, pain is related to the Rule that a woman who comes to you for a consultation suffers from , may or may not be a limitation for doing your job. According to what the draft abortion law proposes, it will be easier to get discharged when this type of pain is assimilated to a cause that is easier to demonstrate during a physical examination.

Will I lose money if I take a vacation?

Under the approach announced by the Department of Equality, any worker who takes sick leave due to menstrual cramps, no matter how long she remains unemployed, will not see a reduction in her wages as these costs will be borne by Social Security. which will heighten the tension. overburdened administration. This would be an important change from what is happening today, as it is now possible for a woman to have her pay cut if she is absent from work for this reason.

Under the current scheme, the first three days an employee is on sick leave are not covered by Social Security. However, it is possible that either the industry agreement on the activities carried out by the worker or his own company provides for it, and therefore it is covered during this time. Otherwise, he will lose a proportionate part of his monthly salary that these three days entail.

After four days of sick leave, different scenarios are offered: between the fourth and 15th day, the worker will receive 60% of his regulatory base (roughly speaking, the average deduction per month for the last years of his working life), which will be paid by the company; from the 15th to the 21st will remain the same, but will be covered by Social Security; and from the 21st it will rise to 75% and will also bear this organ. Similarly, industry agreements as well as company agreements may decide to further supplement these contributions.

Are any similar measures currently being taken?

Yes, there are two cases, but both are limited to the public sector. The new labor agreement that has been approved in the Castellón city council, for example, provides for a menstrual permit, which consists of eight hours off work per month, to be reinstated, yes, within the next quarter. This means that there are no payroll costs for the worker. However, none of the nearly 600 women who make up the Consistory’s staff accepted him in the four months that he was in operation.

Girona city council officials also have the same menstrual permit. It has been better received there, as eight workers out of nearly 525 employed have used it since it went into effect earlier in the year. Of the eight women who asked for it, one asked for a full day, another for three hours, and a minimum of two hours. They must notify the person in charge of their care in order to obtain permission, and this may only be denied for a duly justified reason. As with the Consistory of Castellón, this is a recoverable eight-hour permit.


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