Ever since I was in second grade, I knew I wanted to be a public school teacher. And after some twists and turns, I got to live my dream.
But when I was 22 and finishing my first year of teaching, I had an experience millions of women will recognize.
By June I was visibly pregnant — and the principal told me the job I’d already been promised for the next year would go to someone else.
This was 1971, years before Congress outlawed pregnancy discrimination — but we know it still happens in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. We can fight back by telling our stories. I tell mine on the campaign trail, and I hope to hear yours.
It’s important for the public to know just how pervasive pregnancy discrimination is, and how many families it affects. If you or someone you know has ever faced discrimination in the workplace for being pregnant, join me and share your story today:
Pregnancy discrimination has affected countless women and families nationwide.
As Trudy Randall, another teacher at Riverdale Elementary, told CBS News recently, “The rule was at five months you had to leave when you were pregnant. Now, if you didn’t tell anybody you were pregnant, and they didn’t know, you could fudge it and try to stay on a little bit longer. But they kind of wanted you out if you were pregnant.”
In 1978, Congress officially banned pregnancy discrimination, but we know it continues to happen today in both obvious and less obvious ways, from women being nervous about interviewing for a job while pregnant to worrying about repercussions of taking parental leave to flat-out being let go for being pregnant.
Michael, our stories matter. I’m going to keep talking about my experience, and I hope you’ll join me and share your story today.
Thanks for being a part of this,