City refuses to allow pregnant police officer to work desk job
A pregnant Kentucky police officer is fighting back against her bosses because she says they won't allow her to take a desk job - instead either forcing her to patrol the streets while pregnant or to stop working altogether.
WKRC reports Lyndi Trischler was put on light duty, which essentially means a desk job, when she was pregnant with her first child.
She's now seven and a half months pregnant with her second, but this time around she says the the Florence Police Department isn't being as accommodating.
Trischler told the station she started having problems wearing her bulletproof vest.
"It was really constrictive, and I had a really hard time breathing."
Usually only injured employees are eligible to receive modified duty in Florence, Kentucky, but The Cincinnati Enquirer reports the city used to make exemptions for pregnant women.
That policy changed in April 2013, instead saying, "Employees with disabilities not incurred on the job must take sick, vacation or unpaid leave if they can't perform their jobs." In this case, it seems, the city considers pregnancy to be a "disability not incurred on the job."
"I was told that if I had timed it better, that I wouldn't be going through this."
Trischler filed a suit with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, saying the city violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. The act says employers can't discriminate against pregnant women when it comes to any part of the job, including job assignments and leave.
She's also working closely with A Better Balance, a group that advocates better employment policies for working pregnant women.
The group says when employers refuse to accommodate their pregnant workers, those women usually end up quitting their jobs and losing that needed income or continue working despite their doctors' advice to slow down.
Source: A Better Balance
Newsy noticed that Trischler's case is similar to the suit Peggy Young, a former UPS driver, filed against the company.
Young says back in 2007 her doctor told her not to lift anything over 20 pounds while she was pregnant. She claims UPS refused to adjust for her but allowed for workers with job-related injuries to avoid lifting those heavy items.
Bloomberg reported in July the case was being taken all the way to the Supreme Court.
Trischler has also received some sad news about her baby's health in recent months. The Washington Post says Trischler's doctors have discovered her unborn son has a rare skeletal disorder, meaning he won't survive long after birth.
Trischler is currently taking her vacation and sick leave she's built up. Fellow officers have also helped by donating 180 hours of their own paid time off to Trischler so she can get paid for a longer period of time.
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