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#1 of 6 Old 12-22-2010, 09:54 AM - Thread Starter
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I was wondering any one out there has had difficulties with their employers since they have announced their pregnancy?


I am one of very very few women in my profession (the only female firefighter out of about 40 here on the district), I am a senior firefighter on a wildland firefighting Hotshot crew, and I am unable to preform some of my primary duties due to my pregnancy.  I found out I was pregnant at the end of July and had already been on a few fires while pregnant.  I am still capable of preforming many tasks I used to be able to, but I have to sit out when there is the possibility of inhaling mass  amounts of smoke, watching how hard I work my body, and limiting weight I carry.   I had to sit out from going on fires the rest of the season, and no matter how many times I tell supervisors I am capable of doing field work (I just need to watch myself) they seem to think the only thing I am capable of doing is answering phones and office work.  I am one of few people in my office that is college educated and has capabilities of doing certain planning work, but I keep getting passed up for other non-qualified people to do that work.  My supervisors here would rather me sit in the office all day, doing nothing,  then get out of the office and do productive work.  This has been a huge stress in my pregnancy, and I dread coming to work every day.  Most recently I have been passed up on in a job vacancy at the office where I was more than qualified for, being told I did not show up on the hiring list, when I received an e-mail stating I was on the list.  My husband (who is also a firefighter) and I recently bought a home, and we have all the baggage that is coming along with having to refinance, and rent out, or sell for a loss so we can seek employment other places and won't be working 800+ hours of overtime to be able to raise our new family.  We have no family in the area, and where we live is so rural the closest day care is a half hour away. 


I am afraid to go to HR about all my issues because I am afraid of retaliation, and being a person that has an issue and goes to HR may have trouble finding a job elsewhere when it comes to reference call.  One of the only options we can think of is moving away, but finding a place to live that has daycare nearby, and a job opening for both of us is really hard.  Has anyone else out there had employment issues in their pregnancy?  Any advise?

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#2 of 6 Old 12-22-2010, 08:16 PM
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i just got my hours cut way back and then due to health reasons i had to leave early... i have been off work for a few months now.


That really is not very fair to you that they are doing this. I totally understand that HR can be a pain and not wanting to go there. Can you talk to any of your superiors or is that just not really going to help at all.


If i had some advise that wasn't pretty much what you are already thinking i would give it to you. all the best and i hope something works out

SAHM to D ( 10/06 ) A (10/08) & C (03/11)
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#3 of 6 Old 12-22-2010, 10:22 PM
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All I can offer is a hug.


I told my supervisor about my pregnancy, and raised concerns that our clients' homes were not safe for me to be in (exceedingly filthly - feces everywhere from several species) and I was told that our organization doesn't make accommodations for 'those kinds of things'  (pregnancy).  Even though they were currently opening positions and had open positions in the agency that would be safe, I was given the choice of quitting or continuing to work in conditions that just were. not. safe. 


Best part?  I was working for a family service agency.  (adoption, family counseling, parent education/coaching)



So, now I'm jobless and we're living on student loans. Fan-freakin'-tastic. 


Have you tried just openly talking to your direct supervisor?  Sometimes making yourself a little vulnerable and being as honest as you can really comes across well.  When you're sincere and genuine it's easier for someone to admit wrong or be open to change.  Good luck.

Sarah. Married to my Mirus, raising my DD1 (Aug. '09) and my DD2 (March '11) and waiting for my newest (April '14)!
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#4 of 6 Old 12-23-2010, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
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thank you both so much for your stories and support.  i am just feeling super overwhelmed with they whole situation, and it was nice to blow off some steam.

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#5 of 6 Old 12-24-2010, 01:43 AM
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Yikes.  I'm in the same boat.  I'm a lifeguard and pretty much got run out of my pool at 15 weeks because my midwives said nothing over 15 kg for lifting and we have to be able to do 30+ kg in an emergency.  My boss is very 'black and white' and said that they don't make accomodations, no matter what.  I was on S&A for a week and then got the call that benefits wouldn't be covering my 'sick time' because pregnancy isn't a condition but a "normal everyday experience".  Wanna bet?  You try and stay focused on your job when you are constantly worried you're going to yak on deck in front of the swimmers!  Or be constantly thinking about all the noxious chemicals you're exposed to on a daily basis. Thankfully, sorta, my back was bugging me for three weeks prior and I've been off because of it since then.  On the one hand, I'm really angry that I got pushed out of my job, but on the other, I'm actually really happy I'm not working and just on disability because I can't imagine doing my normal duties with back and pelvis pain like this!  I can't even walk the dog!  ARGH!!!!


It's really frustrating that this is still happening to women when we live in the 21st century.  Can you imagine if there was a parallel situation in the male sphere?  Good grief!  I can only imagine the lengths employers would go to to accomodate the men.  Sigh...


I honestly don't know what I'd do in your situation.  Talking to the boss might not work so well because I have a feeling you'd just get the proverbial 'pat on the head' and it would be more of the same.  Is there anyway you could get written, verbal clearance from your care providers?  Or, can you go higher?  Getting passed up for positions that you're clearly qualified for that would be a better fit for you is a human rights issue.  I'd check policy on that one.  Granted, I'm up here in Canada and have NO clue about how things work in the states. 


Good luck!

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#6 of 6 Old 01-04-2011, 06:08 AM
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If no one has peeked into their What to Expect Book - There are some Pregnant Workers' Rights hotlines and such.  I have a 4th edition, so the information is reasonably fresh, printed in 2008.


I'll quote from it for those that want it, need it, etc.  I hope this helps:


"The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978.  This act prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, or other related medical conditions.  Under this law, employers much treat you as they would treat any employee with a medical disability.  However, it does not protect you if you end up not being able to do the job you were hired to do.

It is considered discriminatory - and illegal - to pass up a woman for promotion or a job for fire her solely on the basis of her pregnancy.  But this kind of discrimination, like all kinds of discrimination, can be difficult to prove.  Complaints of pregnancy discrimination can be reported to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), (800) 669-4000; eeoc.gov."


(Omitting the part about the FMLA, unless someone wants me to post it and don't have their book...)


"State and local laws.  Some state and local laws offer additional protection against pregnancy discrimination.  A very small handful og states and some larger companies also offer "temporary disability insurance," which allows for partial wages during time off for medical disabilities, including pregnancies."


I do hope this helps - especially for Madam Firefighter, and Madam Have to Live on School Loans.  It seriously sucks that they are and have treated the both of you this way, and I hope you can get some sort of recompense for it.  (Especially in a field that works with family services!!!!  I'm horrified at that!)

Lady Zbyrd <3 Alistair

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