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Legal Setback Not the End of the Line for Pregnant Workers Seeking Fairness on the Job

January 15, 2013
By Emily Martin and Liz Watson , National Women’s Law Center Cross-posted from NWLC’s blog, Womenstake . Peggy Young was a UPS truck driver. When employees at her jobsite needed changes to their job duties because they had a disability, or an on-the-job injury, or even a D.U.I. conviction that prevented them from driving legally, UPS provided it. However, when she asked for light duty in order to avoid heavy lifting for a few months because she was pregnant, her employer refused and forced her onto unpaid leave for the duration of her pregnancy. Unfortunately, last week the Fourth Circuit...
Liz Watson's picture

The Duchess Throws Up

December 5, 2012
In a snarky article , the newspaper of record confirms what we already know: Kate Middleton is pregnant. She's so nauseated that she's in the hospital on an intravenous drip. She's just lucky she's not an American gal. U.S. employers regularly fire pregnant women when they need modest accommodations to keep doing their jobs. When women become pregnant in America, they face a strong possibility that their employers will fire them rather than permit more frequent bathroom breaks , place them on light duty , change their shifts , or allow them to work in departments that are " always looking for...
Joan C. Williams's picture

Eldercare, Childcare, and Everything In Between: WeGiveACare.org's Thank You to Caregivers

November 27, 2012
Late night calls are the worst. Mine came all the way from Shanghai, China, where my parents live part of the year. My dad's voice was faint, halting. He told me quickly that my mom had fallen and broken her leg and he was with her in the hospital right now. She would need surgery. Could I leave Los Angeles and go to Shanghai within the week? My parents, both retired, were in basic good health but before leaving for Shanghai, my mom had had persistent nerve pain in her left hip and also back pain. She was also slightly overweight, and learned in the course of trying to find a treatment for...
Cynthia Liu's picture

A Tale of Two Babies

November 9, 2012
The Dismal Reality of Today New parents—let’s call them Julie and Brad—just had their first baby, a little girl they named Samantha. Julie was only able to take 6 weeks off from her job before her disability insurance and accumulated vacation pay ran out. A few months before their baby’s birth, they started researching day care facilities and were shocked to discover that it would cost more than $1,000 a month for full-time infant care. This was more than half of Julie’s take-home pay, but they needed her income, so quitting her job wasn’t an option. Scott was only able to take a week off...
Carla Moquin's picture

Changes We Need in the Workplace... what you can do!

October 30, 2012
(this post was originally published in my blog, LadydeeLG , on July 18, 2012.) Yesterday I commented on Ms. Mayer’s thoughts and focused on what her non-existent maternity leave could say to employers and employees about the expectations and needs of working mothers (and parents) or what employers could demand from employees as a result. Today, I want to focus on how this could be positive: Marissa Mayer as CEO of Yahoo! gives her a tremendous voice. She has power. While her initial comment about “working through her maternity leave” has been heavily scrutinized and criticized, another side...
Diana Limongi's picture

The federal budget: A high-stakes love story

October 24, 2012
In 2011, I taught two summer courses, directed a federal budget research organization and paid taxes. Taxes are the dues I pay for living in a democracy. Like you, I contribute at the local, state, and federal levels. I want us to fall a little bit in love with the federal budget and there’s no better place to begin than understanding where our federal tax dollars go. So, I’d like to tell you a story – my story – of how the federal budget – our tax dollars – affects my life. Meet my children. My daughter is six going on 33, a courageous, big-hearted cyclone. My son is four. In one instant,...
Jo Comerford's picture

What Romney Didn’t Say Most Troubling for Working Mothers

October 21, 2012
More telling than Governor Mitt Romney’s inaccurate “binders full of women” comment during the presidential debate last week, were his comments about workplace flexibility, and, the comments he didn’t make. When asked by voter Katherine Fenton how he planned to rectify the inequalities in the workplace, Romney said, “I recognized that if you’re going to have women in the workforce that sometimes you need to be more flexible. My chief of staff, for instance, had two kids that were still in school. She said, I can’t be here until 7 or 8 o’clock at night. I need to be able to get home at 5 o’...
Liz O Donnell's picture

Will Marissa Mayer's Baby Give Birth to a Leader?

October 9, 2012
How fitting that Marissa Mayer birthed her baby on the eve of National Work and Family month. Yet she disappoints other moms , bloggers and work-family advocates by stating she'll work throughout her maternity leave , appearing on Fortune Magazine 's cover in a decidedly not-pregnant glam shot and remaining silent about the feminist status her new power-mom-CEO role confers. Leave the woman alone, right? She just had a baby! And if she's like most of us, right about now she's sleep-deprived, sore-nippled and shocked at the new world she just entered of human infant needs. But here's why what...
Nanette Fondas's picture

The Impact of Technology on Our Work and Family Lives

October 9, 2012
This blog was originally posted on October 2, 2012 on the Huffington Post I've been thinking a lot about the impact of information and communication technology (ICT) on our work and family lives and continue to be fascinated by this topic. The Pew Internet & American Life Project reported this September that, "on the eve of Apple's unveiling of the iPhone 5, 45% of American adults own smartphones." This reflects a 10% increase from May 2011. In addition, " smartphones are particularly popular with young adults and those living in relatively higher income households; 66% of those ages 18-...

5 Steps to Building a High-Commitment Workplace

October 7, 2012
In 2004 I co-founded a digital strategy company that focuses on inbound marketing (i.e., getting clients found via the Internet). My team consists of independent contractors that work virtually throughout the US as well as in other countries. In talking with Joan Blades, I learned that we worked under a high-commitment workplace model. At the time I didn’t really know what that was. The business structure was initially created out of necessity. But indeed, that is how I have worked, in my company as well as a few prior corporate and entrepreneurial assignments. So how did I figure this out?...
Cynthia Mackey's picture

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