|Arleja Stephens just started a petition to Walmart CEO Doug McMillon stating:
Walmart must, in the next nine months, create an inclusive policy that RESPECTS and PROTECTS all pregnant Walmart workers.
I just started a petition titled “Walmart fired me for being pregnant. Let’s protect Walmart pregnant employees from discrimination!”
Here’s why this is important:
My name is Arleja Stephens, and I stand with the thousands of pregnant workers who have been unfairly fired, discriminated against, or mistreated by Walmart— one of the largest employers of African-American and Latina women in the United States.
Stand with me and support pregnant Walmart workers!
I worked at a Washington, DC, Walmart as a customer service manager in order to support myself and my growing family. Enduring a high-risk pregnancy, I required some time to take care of the medical needs and stress that came along with it. Rather than supporting me, Walmart decided to fire me for my absences— even after I presented credible doctor’s notes. Walmart said it did not matter.
Make no mistake: Walmart’s decision to fire me goes directly against the new policy for pregnant workers that Walmart claims to have put in place. Walmart may have even violated Washington, DC’s law protecting the sick time of pregnant women.
Walmart cannot be trusted to follow its own policies— let alone DC’s law guarding the rights and safety of pregnant workers. Stand with me and tell Walmart to create a policy that truly respects and protests pregnant workers.
My experience is not an isolated incident; I am not alone. Women across the country reported that Walmart does not allow time off for doctor appointments, that they are not given light work as an accommodation, and that they are scared they will lose their jobs if they speak up or ask for help.
In 2014, after Walmart workers and labor rights groups advocated for pregnant Walmart workers nationally with the “Respect the Bump” campaign, the retailer announced a pregnancy policy that would be more accommodating to pregnant workers. Sadly, two years have passed since Walmart unveiled that pregnancy policy, and many pregnant workers are still being mistreated.
Why is this continuing to happen when Walmart claims to have policies to protect pregnant workers?
Walmart is the largest employer of African Americans in the country. Young, Black, working mothers, like me, deserve better. We should not be forced to choose between a healthy pregnancy and the ability to provide for their families.
Sign our petition to demand Walmart treat their pregnant workers with RESPECT. Walmart must, in the next nine months, create a more inclusive policy that RESPECTS and PROTECTS all pregnant Walmart workers.
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