A Victory for Working Pregnant Women

 

We hear all too often about the discrimination that pregnant women can face in the workforce. In fact, we’ve highlighted many of those stories right here on this blog. Most of them end up in a lawsuit, with the pregnant woman having to fight for her rights, and still wind up without a job at the end of the day.

A story on pregnancy discrimination in Connecticut, though, reminds us that there is still hope.

Annie Balcastro is a police officer in the town of Wallingford, CT. During her pregnancy, she requested accommodations for light-duty work in order to maintain the health of her pregnancy.

All too frequently, we’ve heard about women like Annie who are essentially forced out of the workplace during pregnancy. This often happens in a workplace where the employer makes other accommodations for workers who are temporarily not able to perform all of the normal duties involved in their jobs.

Connecticut pregnancy law

There are currently only 10 states that require employers to make reasonable accommodations to pregnant women who wish to stay in their jobs but are not able to perform all of their normal duties. Connecticut is one of those states, which made it easier for Annie to request those accommodations.

In fact, if an employer doesn’t make an effort to provide reasonable accommodations, or even a transfer to a position that is more suited to pregnancy, they are considered to be discriminating.

Even in Connecticut, however, this victory didn’t come naturally. At first, Balcastro was turned down when she requested a light-duty assignment. She was told that she’d be required to take unpaid leave while she was pregnant. So, Balcastro was forced to file suit.

The suit pointed out that, while other police officers were able to take paid leave or be transferred to a light-duty position when they had an on-duty injury, pregnant police officers were forced into unpaid leave.

Balcastro’s suit led to a settlement with the police department, and she was able to continue in her job. For so many women, the results aren’t quite as cheery.

So, what do you think? Have you experienced any workplace discrimination due to pregnancy?

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