Dina Bakst is a founder and president of A Better Balance, a national legal advocacy organization dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace and helping workers care their families without risking their economic security. She is also co-author of Babygate: What You Really Need To Know About Pregnancy and Parenting in the American Workplace.
Dina Bakst is co-founder and co-president of A Better Balance, a national legal advocacy organization dedicated to advancing fair and family-friendly laws and workplace policies. She is also a co-author of the newly released book Babygate: What You Real
Blog Post List
August 5, 2014
Office Lyndi Trischler is pregnant, lives with her one-year old daughter, and will soon have to move out of an apartment she can no longer afford because she’s been pushed out of her job. This is all because her employer, the City of Florence, Kentucky, will not permit any City employees to work with medical restrictions, unless they have been injured on-the-job.
February 27, 2014
Floralba, a pregnant retail worker in the Bronx, was sent home on unpaid leave because she needed to temporarily avoid heavy lifting in order to prevent having another miscarriage. Last week, A Better Balance used the new law we championed, the NYC Pregnant Workers Fairness Act , to get Floralba back at work, with backpay, and to convince her employer to update it's policies in compliance with the law! This week, she has been pricing and hanging clothes instead of hauling heavy piles of clothes as she was required to do in the past. Thanks to this powerful new law, Floralba did not have to...
June 10, 2013
Let's play a game: take out a slip of paper and write your salary down, crumple it up, and trade papers with a co-worker of the opposite sex. This is what one New York woman did just a few years ago and she was shocked by the results--she found out she was receiving far less compensation than a male co-worker who was doing the same work as her. Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act (EPA), signed into law by President John F. Kennedy. As President Kennedy remarked when signing the law in 1963, "Our economy today depends upon women in the labor force." This is even truer today...
May 14, 2013
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, has kicked up all sorts of controversy with her argument that career women can be their own worst enemy and should “lean in” more to their jobs and their ambitions. But the biggest, largely unspoken problem is not that she is elitist, or placing blame in the wrong place. It is that most women can’t rely on their work ethic or the good will of their boss to get ahead--- they need stronger legal protections to effectively “lean in.” It’s a vast, systemic issue. Women’s legal rights – at the moment of hiring, when they receive their paycheck,...
October 31, 2012
Thirty-four years ago this week, Congress enacted the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) to remedy a long history of discrimination against pregnant workers and promote equal opportunity. The PDA opened workplace doors, making clear that employers could not fire, fail to hire or otherwise penalize pregnant women just for being pregnant. The law also requires employers to treat pregnant workers as well as other employees “similar in their ability or inability to work.” Unfortunately, the PDA’s protections have proven limited. All too often, pregnant workers, especially women in low-wage and...
May 10, 2012
rue or False: 1) A pregnant woman can be fired for carrying a water bottle on the job to stay hydrated and prevent bladder infections. 2) A pregnant activity director at a nursing home can be terminated because she requires help with some physically strenuous aspects of her job to prevent having another miscarriage. 3) A pregnant delivery truck driver can be forced out on unpaid leave because she has a lifting restriction and needs light duty. The answer to all of these questions is true. These scenarios are based on actual cases, in which courts interpreted existing law to deny these...
November 17, 2011
Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau released a report that found that almost 51 percent of working women who gave birth to their first child between 2006 and 2008 received paid leave (which includes sick leave and vacation time), compared to 42% between 1996 and 2000. While the new figures represent progress, it’s hardly time to cheer. Over 49% of new mothers in the United States still do not have access to any form of paid parental leave. The U.S. remains the only industrialized country in the world that does not provide a statutory right to paid maternity leave. In fact, even counting...
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...
April 24, 2009
Despite shrinking budgets and dire economic forecasts, at least four Republican governors are planning to turn away a portion of the federal stimulus funds. Why? Because these funds would require them to extend unemployment insurance benefits to part-time workers who have been laid off in their states.