The abortion giant Planned Parenthood has been accused of mistreating pregnant employees, according to a New York Times report.
The paper said other employers that champion women also face accusations of discriminating against their pregnant workers, “showing how widespread the problem is in American workplaces.”
A medical assistant at Planned Parenthood, Ta’Lisa Hairston, said that when high blood pressure threatened her pregnancy, she submitted to her managers notes from a nurse requesting she be given time to rest during the work day.
But the Times said the managers at the White Plains, New York, clinic ignored the notes, rarely giving her time to rest or take a lunch break.
“I had to hold back tears talking to pregnant women, telling them to take care of their pregnancies when I couldn’t take care of mine,” she said. “It made me jealous.”
‘Sidelining’ pregnant employees
The paper said discrimination against pregnant women and new mothers is “so pervasive that even organizations that define themselves as champions of women are struggling with the problem.”
According to the Times’ interviews with more than a dozen current and former employees, Planned Parenthood has been accused of “sidelining, ousting or otherwise handicapping pregnant employees.”
The alleged discrimination would violate federal or state laws.
Many women said they were afraid to announce a pregnancy at work.
Calling on Avon
At Avon, which boasts of being “the company for women,” two employees have sued for being forced to handle toxic chemicals in a testing lab while pregnant.
An Avon marketing executive, Caroline Ruiz, claims she was fired four days after announcing her pregnancy.
Avon spokeswoman Paige Cali said the company “strongly denies claims of discrimination.”
At Planned Parenthood, the Times reported, managers in some clinics declined to hire pregnant job candidates. Along with refusing requests by expecting mothers to take breaks, some were pushed out of their jobs after they gave birth, the paper said.
The Times cited current and former Planned Parenthood employees in California, Texas, North Carolina and New York.
“I believe we must do better than we are now,” said Leana Wen, the president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, in a statement. “It’s our obligation to do better, for our staff, for their families and for our patients.”
Planned Parenthood’s clinics and regional offices brought in about $1.5 billion in fiscal year 2016.
Half came from private donations and half from the government to reimburse treatment provided to Medicaid patients.