Pregnant Workrs

Dick Meister: The plight of the pregnant worker


By Dick Meister

Dick Meister, former labor editor of the SF Chronicle and KQED-TV Newsroom, has covered labor and politics for more than a half-century. Contact him through his website,, which includes more than 400 of his columns.

Dina Bakst of the Work and Family Legal Center reminds us of an important fact that few people seem to realize  – – that getting pregnant can cause a woman to lose her job, despite the laws banning employment discrimination against women and the disabled.

Bakst asked, in a recent New York Times column, that we imagine a woman who, seven months pregnant, was fired from her job as a cashier because she needed a few extra bathroom breaks.

That actually happened. So did the firing of a pregnant worker from her retail job after she gave her supervisors a doctor's note asking that she not be required to do any heavy lifting or climbing of ladders during the month- and- a-half before she went on maternity leave. Read more »