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Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: What rights do pregnant workers have?

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | May 12, 2015 2:19 PM
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What to look for on Smart Talk Wednesday, May 13, 2015:

A U.S. Supreme Court decision last March related to the rights of pregnant workers was viewed as a victory for women in the workplace.  But what it did was actually send the case of Peggy Young back to a lower court.

Young was a part-time driver for United Parcel Service (UPS).  When she became pregnant, her doctor said she should lift no more than 20 pounds.  Her job at UPS required Young to lift at least 70 pounds.  UPS said Young couldn't work under those restrictions. 

Young went to court saying UPS had made similar accomodations for injured workers and the court agreed.

On Wednesday's Smart Talk, we'll look at what the ruling means for pregnant workers and for employers too.

We'll also explore what the law says about pregnancy and employment.

Joining us are Tara Pfeifer, a staff attorney with the Women's Law Project and Dr. Colleen Krajewski with Physicians for Reproductive Health.

Published in News, Smart Talk

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  • Maian img 2015-05-13 09:32

    I worked for a department store in Lancaster as a fine jewelry counter manager. The expectation is that you stand 8 plus hours a day with the occasional 15 minute break and meal break. I was pregnant and I didn't get a chair to rest until the week before I gave birth and I had to ask a couple of fellow managers about it and then they finally gave in. There were times where I became dizzy and lightheaded due to the fact I was on my feet so much especially towards the end of my pregnancy. They also prohibited me from having a snack or a drink at the tiny desk behind the jewelry counter. I was never told what my rights are as a pregnant mother and I thought because I was the one who was pregnant I had to deal with the job expectations that was set when I was hired. Thankfully I had a healthy beautiful boy without any complications.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-05-13 09:52

    Allison in Red Lion emails:

    At the time a friend became pregnant with her second child, she was in line for a promotion.

    Both managers were open with their feelings, saying that they didn't intend to promote her because of the pregnancy.

    Eventually she left the company to work for a company that is friendly and has made accommodations for her to pump while at work. She doesn't have to pump in a rest room! And, she is now earning more money than she would have if she had stayed.

    We lost a great colleague and the company lost an excellent employee because of ignorance.

  • horse2hound4 img 2015-05-13 13:01

    Scott expressed some surprise that employers would limit bathroom access. My brother-in-law worked for Verizon for many years. He had an office position (working in collections) -- part of every employee's monthly evaluation involved a discussion of the minutes that they had spent in the bathroom the previous month. His bathroom use was cited in one evaluation -- doing the math, he realized that he had spent approximately five minutes per day in the bathroom!

    It was originally predicted that the "computer revolution" would allow most employees to work from home and/or to have a four day work week. Instead, computing has allowed employers to inappropriately micromanage the lives of their employees.