Bill barring pregnancy tests sent to the full legislature

Women in the Costa Rican workforce frequently are apprehensive when they find that they are pregnant. Some employers have a policy of firing women employees who are pregnant to avoid paying a salary for four months when the woman gives birth.

Some employers also demand a pregnancy test before hiring woman.

Such a test would be prohibited under a proposal that was sent to the full legislature Tuesday by the Comisión de la Mujer. The measure rewrites part of the labor code.

Although women typically are off for four months after giving birth, the rewrite would allow paid absence from work for up to a year with a physician’s approval. The measure also sets up a special investigative procedure when an employer discharges a woman who is pregnant. There are penalties if the woman was fired without cause.

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