Put a stop to pregnancy discrimination in nontraditional jobs

I am a patrol officer in Florence, Kentucky. In 2015, there was a period of several months when my workforce of over 60 people had zero women on duty. The reason? In a profession that is already almost entirely male, my one female colleague and I had both been pushed out of the workforce due to a policy that denied us light duty while we were pregnant.

At five months pregnant, I was advised by my health care provider to go on light duty. It was a complicated pregnancy and the physical demands of patrolling, including wearing a heavy gun belt and tight bullet proof vest, threatened my health. The city of Florence, Kentucky, my employer, pointed to a discriminatory city-wide policy and refused to accommodate me and provide light duty as they had for others – the policy said modified duty was only for on-the-job injured employees. This was even though my own department wanted to help me – the higher ups said no.

I was stunned when they told me I would lose my health insurance right when I needed it most. I had to wonder, how was it that our society had not yet figured out how to have pregnant employees in these important jobs?

I didn’t really want to be a trailblazer, I just wanted to do my job. At that time, I had no idea that Congress had already introduced the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, a bill that will ensure pregnant workers like I was can obtain reasonable accommodations needed to stay safe and on the job.

My pregnancy was complicated and painful physically and emotionally because we had learned that our son had a rare genetic disorder, meaning he would not survive for very long after he was born. No expecting parent should ever have to shoulder devastating news like that while also fighting an unsupportive workplace and wondering how to pay expensive medical bills. There was financial stress too from being pushed out of my job – my one-year-old daughter and I moved out of our apartment since we could no longer afford rent.

After A Better Balance fought back with me – the city then changed its tune and decided I could keep my health benefits, and we filed a charge of discrimination with a federal agency. It took two and a half years for us to achieve justice.

Most women are not able to endure time-consuming and stressful litigation to enforce their rights, but I was motivated to keep fighting to make sure other women didn’t have to go through what I went through. After all, gender diversity in non-traditional jobs like policing not only helps families like mine, but helps to narrow the gender wage gap and society as a whole. I’m proud that I’ve stayed with the police force and continue to show up for work every day in the pandemic to help my community. But unless we reform our laws, women will continue to feel unwelcome in male-dominated industries, such as firefighting, construction, transportation, and so many more that make it impossible for them to start families.

Pregnancy discrimination brings us all down, and it’s time to put it to a stop. I see the “Help Wanted” signs on doors and I know there are employers looking for workers. Pregnancy should never be the reason to deny someone their paychecks when reasonable accommodations can allow them to safely complete their duties and help the public, like I would have been able to do in 2015. In the midst of a global pandemic and she-session, working to ensure pregnant essential workers can get the accommodations they need to stay healthy and on the job is more urgent than ever.

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act would do exactly that and ensure that pregnant workers can obtain the reasonable accommodations they need to stay safe and on the job, so long as the accommodations aren’t too difficult or expensive for employers. The bill has strong support on both sides of the aisle and is so close to the finish line. It passed the House in May, and I’m calling on the Senate now to pass the bill as soon as possible.

For our country’s women, especially those of us in typically male environments, it couldn’t be more urgent than right now.

Lyndi Trischler is a police officer in Florence, Ky., and a community advocate for A Better Balance. She championed passage of the Kentucky Pregnant Workers Act and now the federal Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which has overwhelming bipartisan support and is ready for a vote in the Senate. 

Lyndi Trischler

Free Play Sex Game | Free Sex Chat | Frenulum Orgasm | Gay Cam Chat |