Rights For Working Parents

For Kathy Williamsen, life should be sweet. She and her husband Gerard have a new baby girl and Kathy's teaching career seemed to be taking off.

Her teaching evaluations had been excellent. Then all of a sudden, she started receiving unsatisfactory marks.

The plunge in Kathy's rating happened in October. Eleven days after she told her Principal she was pregnant. More poor evaluations followed, meaning an almost certain end to Kathy's hopes for tenure.

Kathy is convinced that there is a connection between her unsatisfactory rating and her pregnancy, reports CBS News Correspondent Jeffrey Kofman.

"Yes," she said. "Absolutely."

Others are also convinced that working mothers and sometimes fathers are denied promotions or even demoted because employers assume they are less committed to their jobs. Pregnancy discrimination is already outlawed, but there is no protection for working parents.

"They are not taken as seriously, they see that their career path is really shut off," said Anne Clark, an employment discrimination lawyer.

It is impossible to say just how many parents face discrimination at work. Eight states have already outlawed it, and in Washington later this month, Democrats plan to introduce legislation that would protect working parents nationwide.

"There is not a real proof of any problem out there," according to Randy Johnson of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. "And secondly it seems to be a political issue thrown out there to troll for votes."

"I think the problem is huge," Kathy said. "I think nobody wants to recognize it."

As Kathy Williamsen sees it, it is time for the workplace to catch up to the reality of employees who want to have rewarding lives at home and on the job.