Tag Archives: Pregnancy

This still happens? by Emily J. Martin


reposted … from 2013

This still happens?
It’s true — some pregnant women are still forced to make terrible choice between losing their jobs and endangering their pregnancies.
Too many pregnant women who need a temporary workplace accommodation to continue working safely are being shown the door. Employers know they can’t get away with this if a worker with a disability needs an accommodation — but they think it is fine to treat a pregnant worker like a second-class citizen.
We’re talking about adjustments like a temporary schedule change, permission to carry a water bottle, or sitting on a stool instead of standing all day at a cash register. Too often, employers say no to these simple requests. To make matters worse, the women most likely to be in this impossible position are often in jobs that pay the lowest wages.

Pregnant Workers Fairness Act - Pregnant women have been fired for drinking water, using the bathroom too frequently, and being unable to lift heavy objects.

Over the next several months, we’re turning the pressure up — to raise awareness and take action in support of pregnant workers. Thirty-five years ago this month, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act became law, but we obviously still have a lot more work to do to make sure pregnant women are treated fairly.

That’s why we need to pass the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, a bill that would require employers to make the same types of accommodations for pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions that they do for disabilities.

No pregnant woman should be forced to choose between her health and her job.

Could this happen to you?

Imagine that complications from your pregnancy put your health at risk and when you arrive at the hospital you suddenly find out that they can refuse to help you.

This horrific reality has happened to many women, and it will happen again. If your local hospital is religiously affiliated — or if it employs doctors or nurses who have religious objections to providing needed medical care — it could even happen to you.

Tell the Department of Health: Women in Washington deserve better.

Within the next two years, more than 50 percent of hospital admissions in Washington may be to Catholic institutions that restrict patient access to medication and procedures. These religiously affiliated hospitals allow religious doctrine, rather than proven medical best practices, to dictate the kind of care and procedures pregnant women and patients can receive. In these hospitals, patient care and medical standards often run a distant second to religious doctrine. As a result, women’s health can suffer, and lives can be at risk and all the while women continue to seek care at these hospitals with no idea.

You can change this. The Washington Department of Health is asking for comments on proposed changes to hospital disclosure policies.

Submit your comment today to ensure that hospitals in Washington fully inform their patients about the reproductive health services they do and do not provide.

Many women seeking care at these hospitals may not realize that the hospitals deny care for women and patients in emergency situations, including:

  • Prohibiting prompt, medically indicated treatment of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy, even if the woman’s life and health is at risk.
  • Refusing   to inform a couple about their contraceptive options, including sterilization, even though a pregnancy could threaten the women’s health or life.
  • Requiring patients in persistent vegetative states to be kept on feeding tubes even when a patient has specifically indicated that a feeding tube is something he or she would never want.

This is a growing problem in Washington. Women cannot wait until they are in dire need of services to be informed of their care. Please take action right now — the comment period closes at midnight on November 26.

Thanks for keeping it personal,

Thao Nguyen
Campaign Director
This Is Personal

It’s Time For An Upgrade: Let’s End the Mommy Penalty for NY Women!

The New York Women’s Equality Coalition has just relaunched a statewide digital and grassroots campaign to demand a Women’s Equality Agenda for New York State. Our campaign shines a spotlight on the need to update and strengthen New York State laws to reflect the reality of women’s lives in 2013. The Coalition has also launched an exciting video highlighting the antiquated laws in New York that need an upgrade.
Illegal or Just Sleazy? Watch to Find Out…
Test your knowledge of the gaps in New York’s discrimination laws by watching  this video. Then show it to your friends, your family, and your legislators! Send it, post it, tweet it, and get involved in the push to pass the Women’s Equality Agenda before it dies on December 31st. Click on the picture below to see and share the video.
Mind The (Motherhood Wage) Gap!
We recently focused on women, like Armanda Legros, who are demanding that state legislators stand up for pregnant women and new mothers in New York State. Read our Op-Ed in the Albany Times Union  here.
This week, we focus on the wage gap. Women in New York make only 84% of men’s earnings, and the percentage is even worse for women of colorMothers in particular are less likely to be hired and promoted, and, on average, receive a lower salary, than their childless counterparts. The Women’s Equality Agenda would help close this maternal wage gap by prohibiting discrimination against parents in the workplace and strengthening our state’s equal pay laws. Every day that our legislators fail to take action is another day that the women of New York lose out! Read our blog post here.
Please take a moment to  sign Armanda’s petition and tell legislators that New York needs the Women’s Equality Agenda!
Twitter Rally TOMORROW 12-1pm ET!
What else can you do to make your voice heard? We’re having a twitter rallyTOMORROWWednesday, 12pm-1pm on the maternal wage gap. Here are a few sample tweets you can use to let your followers know that the “mommy penalty” is unfair, senseless, and needs to end NOW!

  • In NY, moms make 5% less per child than their childless peers. We need legislators to pass the #WEA and #UpgradeNY to end this now!
  • A bigger family shouldn’t mean a smaller salary! Pass the #WEA to end the mommy penalty for NY women #UpgradeNY
  • We need laws that work as hard as today’s working moms. #UpgradeNY #WEArestrong Learn more @ http://bit.ly/SfMTnO
  • Vintage: Great for t-shirts, bad for New York law. Let’s pass the #WEA and #UpgradeNY today! http://bit.ly/HICp2g
New York’s outdated laws have to change and we won’t stop until women and families have true equality across the state–stay tuned for our new 2014 Women’s Equality Agenda.
Thank you for all your support,
The ABB Team: Sherry, Dina, Phoebe, Jared, Elizabeth, Liz, Risha & Rachel
Donate now to A Better Balance.  Together we can improve the lives of families across the country. 

We won! Pregnancy Discrimination Bill Is Signed Into Law

Dina Bakst stands behind  Mayor Bloomberg as he signs the bill into law
Dear Friend,
Today, Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed the New York City Pregnant Workers Fairness Act into law! This victory, which will have a profound impact on the health and economic well-being of NYC women and families would not have been possible without your unwavering support. This victory brings us one step closer on the road to justice and equality!
A Better Balance worked with legislators to draft the bill, which was inspired by Co-Founder & Co-President Dina Bakst’s New York Times Op-Ed. The law will ensure that pregnant women and new mothers in New York City are not pushed off the job just because they need a reasonable accommodation in order to stay healthy. Thank you for your support as we move forward in our efforts to enforce this law and strengthen pregnancy discrimination laws around the country.
With much appreciation,
The ABB Team: Sherry, Dina, Phoebe, Jared, Elizabeth, Risha, Liz, and Rachel

Is pregnancy a fireable offense? …

National Women's Law Center
A pregnant fast-food worker in Washington, D.C., was fired after her employer refused to let her drink water on the job, but permitted other workers to do so.
A pregnant cashier at a Dollar Tree store on Long Island wasn’t allowed to sit on a stool, even though workers in other Dollar Tree stores did. Instead, she was required to stand for 8 to 10 hours at a stretch — landing her in the emergency room.  The stories keep coming. Women who want to keep working — or need to keep working — but who wind up forced to choose between their jobs and the health of their pregnancies.
We’re only $1,035 away from our $10,000 goal — and our deadline is midnight tonight.
Your gift of $10 or more will help us fight for women facing challenges in the workplace and beyond.

Pregnant women shouldn't have to choose between their health and their jobs. Donate now.

Employers may not know they’re breaking the law when they refuse to make the types of on-the-job adjustments for pregnant women that they make for other workers. But they are. And it’s up to all of us to fight for the pregnant workers who are on the front lines, just trying to do their jobs in the face of employers who treat them unfairly — and illegally.
Anything you can contribute will help. Please help us meet our $10,000 goal by midnight tonight.
Your support means so much to us. Thank you, as always, for everything you do for women and families.
Emily J. Martin Vice President and General Counsel National Women’s Law Center
P.S. We depend on your support to help us fight for women and their families.  Please help us reach our $10,000 goal before midnight tonight.