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Tear Down the “Maternal Wall!” FMLA Protects Women in the Workplace

September 28, 2011
By Ariela Migdal, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU’s Women Rights Project More than 30 years after Congress passed the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, employers still engage in two kinds of pregnancy-related sex discrimination. First, they discriminate outright against workers who get pregnant — firing them or refusing to promote them when they need to take time off for pregnancy-related care and childbirth, and forcing them off the job by refusing to accommodate some women’s temporary restrictions on heavy lifting or other physical job duties. Second, employers discriminate against women workers...
ACLU's picture

America’s Working Parents Deserve Paid Leave – Take Action Today!

September 26, 2011
The arrival of a new child should be a time of pure celebration. Sadly, for millions of working parents without paid leave in this country, the joyous occasion can be short-lived. Many of these parents have to make an impossible choice: take time off to recover and care for their new child, or return to work to keep their jobs and protect their families’ economic security. A mere 11 percent of workers in this country have paid family leave through their employers, and fewer than 40 percent have access to personal medical leave through employer-provided short-term disability insurance. As the...
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"Up All Night" Is the Least of It

September 22, 2011
Elizabeth Gedmark is a Law Fellow at A Better Balance. NBC’s new comedy show, “Up All Night,” which premiered Wednesday night stars Christina Applegate as a working mother who has just come back to work after taking maternity leave. Her husband, played by Will Arnett, is a new stay-at-home Dad who recently left his job at a law firm. But watching this couple exhaustedly struggle with their new baby was actually a reminder that in the United States, in many ways, they are very lucky. The mother is lucky that she was able to take maternity leave and that her employer welcomed her back. Under...
Elizabeth Gedmark's picture

MomsRising Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month – ¡Con Mucho Gusto!

September 21, 2011
On the occasion of Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15 to October 15, MomsRising is celebrating Latina mothers across the United States, ¡Con Mucho Gusto! (With great pleasure.) With a population of 50 million in the United States (1), Latinos have and will continue to contribute to our country in a myriad ways to our economy, our children’s education, and our culture. When Latino families thrive, we all benefit from their contributions whether through taxes to our economy, volunteer hours at our children’s schools, or multicultural events. In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month,...
Kristin's picture

Let's Be Real: I Love Being a Working Mom

August 30, 2011
Taking care of my new baby girl Lillian for 10 weeks was a great experience, but it only reinforced my desire to go back to my career. I missed adult interaction and using my skills and talents. While I love my daughter more than anything in the world, I also missed the life I had before she was born. I craved normalcy. I wasn’t sure how I would react going back to work. The night before dropping her off at daycare I barely slept. I had so many conflicting thoughts. Part of me felt bad about going back to my job. I would think about the fact that someone else would get to see her smiles and...
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#HERvotes Blog Carnival

August 25, 2011
On the anniversaries of the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment and the 1963 March on Washington, which are this week, MomsRising joins our colleagues in working to mobilize women voters around preserving women’s Health and Economic Rights (HERrights) in order to build an even stronger nation that lives up to its full potential. The current extremist attacks on women’s health and family economic security serve to weaken the United States and our families, not strengthen them. Frankly, when family economic and health security is threatened, we are all threatened. To counter these threats,...
Kristin's picture

Discrimination Against Pregnant Women and New Mothers Is Not a Work-Life Balance Issue

August 25, 2011
Last week, Judge Loretta Preska of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed a class action suit alleging that Bloomberg L.P. discriminated against pregnant women and mothers returning from maternity leave. In her decision , Judge Preska said that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) failed “to demonstrate that discrimination was Bloomberg’s standard operating procedure, even if there were several isolated instances of individual discrimination.” As reported in the New York Times , Judge Preska went on to write “The law does not mandate ‘work-life...
Dina Bakst's picture

What revolution? Why haven’t women pushed harder for caring work to be valued?

August 25, 2011
When I first got involved in blogging in the Spring of 2008 (coming up on 3 years), I started looking for other attachment parenting and feminist mothering blogs. The first feminist mothering blog that I came across and one that still holds a prominent place in my RSS reader today is blue milk . When I first discovered her blog, I found a post from 2007 called “ What does a feminist mother look like ” that included 10 questions for feminist mothers to think about and hopefully blog their answers to. I wrote my answers on feminist mothering here (way back in the day when no one commented on my...

Protecting the Rights of Pregnant Women

August 25, 2011
It’s October 20, 2009. My lab results have just confirmed the news that my husband and I have been eagerly waiting to hear. I am pregnant. I am excited. I am overjoyed. I am nervous. I am anxious. My mind and body are gearing up to experience a plethora of emotions and sensations that will last for nine months and beyond. The first trimester goes without incident. We have just started announcing the news to family and friends. And then unexpectedly, four months into my pregnancy, I experience bleeding. Memories of a past miscarriage take over the joyous experience. I am fearful. My ob-gyn...
Vibhuti Mehra's picture

Breastfeeding Backlash?

August 25, 2011
Ironically, at a time when the significant short and long-term health benefits of breastfeeding are becoming widely recognized, women around the country are facing both rhetorical and direct attacks on their decision to breastfeed. While every major medical authority is working tirelessly to encourage women to breastfeed their babies exclusively for six months (with continued breastfeeding for at least the first year), each week news of a mother being asked to leave a store, a bus, an airplane or a museum because they are feeding their child in public surfaces. Something is out of sync. In...
Ashley Boyd's picture