A Job or Your Rights

Continued Sex Discrimination in Mexico’s Maquiladora Sector

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In this report Human Rights Watch documents the Mexican government's failure to enforce its own labor laws in the export processing (maquiladora) sector. In violation of Mexican labor law, maquiladora operators oblige women to undergo pregnancy testing as a condition of work. Women thought to be pregnant are not hired. Among the corporations engaging in this practice, which violates both Mexican and international law, are such international corporations as Landis & Staefa, Samsung Group, Matsushita Electric Corp., Sunbeam-Oster, Sanyo, Thomson Corporate Worldwide, Siemens AG, and Pacific Dunlop. However, the vast majority of companies engaging in this practice are U.S.-owned, including Lear, Johnson Controls, and Tyco International. The Human Rights Watch report, "A Job or Your Rights: Continued Sex Discrimination in Mexico's Maquiladora Sector," documents how companies demand that women produce urine specimens for pregnancy exams and how maquiladora doctors and nurses examine women's abdomens or require them to reveal private information about menses schedule.

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