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women's issues

Thanks to NYC Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, Pregnant Woman is Back at Work

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 choose between her paycheck and a healthy pregnancy. 

Child Care, Farming, and Working Parents in Hawaii

Two months ago, I wrote a post called The Short Game: Taking the “Work” out of “Working Together” about a community event that included a congresswoman and about a dozen mothers and daughters.  I described how the act of women gathering together, to support each other and enjoy themselves while also doing important work, might be just as vital as more sustained efforts to solve the systemic problems facing women and families.  In fact, I recently had a conversation with an old friend who I hadn’t been in touch with for awhile.  We had a great time talking, and I remembered how much we like and respect each other.  After discussing parenthood, politics, fair pay, and finding money for different programs in the community, she said:


Has “Breast is Best” Jumped the Shark?

I’m a working mother of two small children, and I’ve breastfed them both. In fact, I’m currently somewhere in the middle of breastfeeding my second child, who has cut some teeth recently and knows how to use them, so we’ll see how much longer this continues.

And it’s been interesting, being alive and mothering and breastfeeding during a time of historically high intrusion into women’s nutrition relationships with their babies. I’m not a breastfeeding crusader. I’ve found the whole situation to be exhausting and crazy and difficult. I am already sad about how fast my baby seems to be growing up, but I look forward to the day when I am not the source of her nutrition. I’m just kind of middle-of-the-road on this whole thing.

But I care about how our culture treats women, and there is one specific dynamic that I’ve been tracking, and been bothered by, in that way where you can’t put your finger on what bothers you. You turn it over and over in your mind, until one day in the shower it hits you.

So here it is:

LSAT to Nursing Moms: Need Time to Pump? Tough Titties!

By Galen Sherwin, Staff Attorney ACLU Women’s Rights Project

Women should not be forced to choose between breastfeeding their babies and pursuing a legal education — right?

Wrong — at least according to the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC), the organization that administers the LSAT.

This summer, our sister organization, MomsRising, contacted us about one of their members, Ashley (she prefers that we use only her first name), a new mom who was planning to take the LSAT in October. Ashley had asked for additional break time so that she could pump breast milk for her 5 month old son during the test. (It typically takes half an hour to pump, but the LSAT only has one 15 minute break during the test). Her request was denied — when she initially called to request this accommodation, she was told she would either have to take the test under standard procedure, wean her baby in time for the October 1 test date, or opt to take the test at a later time when she was no longer breastfeeding. Seriously.

Breastfeeding as a Health Policy Issue is a Win-Win

The toughest of times can shine a light on opportunities for needed change, often providing long awaited improvements. Faced with state and federal budget crises and promising health care reform, breastfeeding as a policy, not just a health, issue, stands out as a win-win for everyone. Breastfeeding is a comparatively low-cost, low-tech health strategy that results in improved health outcomes for mothers and babies. Our Surgeon General’s Call to Action, details action steps we can collectively take to support our mothers with breastfeeding policies in the places where they receive health care, work and do business, honoring their feeding decision and benefiting our communities.

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