Republican Under Fire For Saying Employers Have A Right To Ask Women If And When They Will Get Pregnant

by : Cameron Frew on :
Republican Under Fire For Saying Employers Have A Right To Ask Women If And When They Will Get PregnantPA Images

A Republican frontrunner in California has been criticised for claiming employers should have the right to ask women about pregnancy. 

Larry Elder, a conservative radio host, is running in the recall election against Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom; once a prospective presidential candidate, he could be the second Democrat to be exiled soon, alongside New York’s Andrew Cuomo. The election takes place on September 14, and also includes Caitlyn Jenner and John Cox.


While commentators think the state could elect a GOP governor, Elder has come under fire for past comments about employers’ rights to quiz female workers on if and when they plan to get pregnant.

Larry Elder is running in California's recall election. (PA Images)PA Images

In his 2002 book Showdown: Confronting Bias, Lies, and the Special Interests that Divide America, Elder ‘endorsed’ workplace discrimination based on pregnancy, Media Matters reports.

He compared employers quizzing women on pregnancy to sports teams forbidding players from ‘hazardous conduct not related to their sport. Call it protecting an investment.


‘Are there legitimate business reasons for a venture capitalist to ask a female entrepreneur whether and when she intends to have children? Hell, yes,’ he added, alleging women with children aren’t ‘committed’ to their work.

Larry Elder says employers should be allowed to ask about pregnancy. (PA Images)PA Images

Republican Senator’s Definition Of ‘Women’ Mocked Online

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‘Forget about venture capitalists. How about regular ol’ employers? Why can’t they ask the same questions? Many businessmen and businesswomen deal with this reality every day: Will the woman who applies as a sales manager give me enough steady, committed time on the job to warrant my investment?’ Elder wrote.

Under the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, The Pregnancy Discrimination Act ‘forbids discrimination based on pregnancy when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, such as leave and health insurance, and any other term or condition of employment.’


Yet, Elder still defended his comments during an interview with Associated Press. ‘Government should not be intruding into the relationship between employer and employee,’ he said.

He’s attracted the furore of not just Democrats, but fellow GOP candidates. ‘Every undecided voter – pay attention. These are not California values. These are not Republican, Democrat, or independent values. Larry Elder is doubling down on his attacks on working women and California families,’ former San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer, who’s also running in the election, tweeted.

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Cameron Frew

Entertainment Editor at UNILAD. 2001: A Space Odyssey is the best film ever made, and Warrior is better than Rocky. That's all you need to know.

Topics: News, California, Now, pregnancy, Republicans, Sexism, US


Media Matters and 1 other
  1. Media Matters

    Larry Elder endorsed pregnancy discrimination, criticized governor for being a working mom

  2. Associated Press

    Faulconer hits GOP rival Elder as California recall heats up