"Which Part of 'Pregnancy Discrimination' Didn't They Understand?" (Katharine Bodde, ACLU Blog of Rights):
It is no secret that women face barriers to equal employment every day all over the world. In the United States, some of the most blatant and persistent obstacles center around the role of women in reproduction, and our societal and cultural norms regarding childcare. This is especially true in traditionally male-dominated workforces, such as law enforcement. The problem is so intractable that in some cases, even when we win, the same problem sprouts up years later in a slightly different form.
In the latest example, the ACLU and New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) won a case against the Suffolk County Police Department (SCPD) for pregnancy discrimination, only to discover that the SCPD had instituted a new, blatantly discriminatory policy a few years later.
In 2001, the ACLU and NYCLU filed a sex discrimination lawsuit, Lochren v. County of Suffolk, challenging an SCPD policy that prohibited pregnant police officers from being assigned temporary "light-duty" assignments, such as desk jobs, when they requested them. This policy meant that pregnant officers were forced either to take unpaid leave from work or to continue to walk a beat without a gunbelt or bullet-proof vest, which do not come in maternity sizes. At trial, one of our plaintiffs modeled the gun belt and vest, demonstrating that her pregnant belly was completely exposed by the vest and she was unable to reach her gun. The jury found that the police department had engaged in discrimination, the plaintiffs got relief, the county agreed to change the policy, and we celebrated victory.
Can you believe that?
Good that the ACLU's out there working for everyone but it's appalling that police department thought they could get away with that.
"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):