Pregnant Police Officer Forced to Choose Between Her Baby & Her Badge

Say What!? 35

pregnantA police officer in Florida was overjoyed when she found out she was pregnant -- but her excitement quickly turned to devastation when she found out that having a baby would ultimately mean she had to give up her badge.

Krystal Nix was a patrol officer for the city of Brooksville, and when she went in to tell her police chief that she was expecting, she figured he'd put her on light duty assignments until she delivered her baby and was finished with her maternity leave. After that, she assumed she'd go right back to being on patrol to carry on the career that she'd worked so hard for.

But instead of congratulating her on her pregnancy and doing whatever he could to accommodate her, the chief told her to talk to human resources instead to see what she should do next.

And much to her dismay, human resources told her that there were no light duty assignments available at the time, so she wound up going ahead and taking maternity leave.

But then she was told that once her leave was up, she had no job to return to, and she had to choose between quitting her job or being fired. (What the heck?)

Not surprisingly, Krystal hired an attorney and is waiting to hear whether or not her civil rights were violated by the police department. And honestly, I just don't see how the final ruling can go any other way than in her favor. Because the last time I checked, getting pregnant isn't exactly grounds for termination.

I mean, it's understandable that her unit wouldn't want her patrolling while she was still expecting, but there's no reason why they couldn't have found something else for her to do up until she delivered. And even though being a police officer can be kind of a dangerous job sometimes, there are plenty of female officers who are also parents. There's no law that says you can't be a cop and a mom at the same time. And just because she chose a career in law enforcement doesn't mean she shouldn't be able to start a family like any other woman.

Pregnancy should be the start of a new adventure in a woman's life, not the end to all of her hard work and achievements.

Do you think Krystal was discriminated against?

 

Image via futurestreet/Flickr

maternity leave

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sunny... sunnytxmom

This happened to me when I was a zoo keeper at the San Antonio Zoo. My happy news that I would be a first time mom was met with a look of disgust. I was told that there absolutely was no light duty for me. I was told I could take maternity leave when I could no longer lift heavy objects, be on my feet for 8 hrs, and work in 100 degree plus weather. I stuck it out until I was 8 months along pushing a wheelbarrow up hill in the middle of south Texas summer! Unfortunately, by the time I delivered I had less than a week of maternity leave left. I was forced to quit a job I loved because I could not leave my newborn or work so shortly after giving birth. This happens to pregnant women in America every day.

Flori... Floridamom96

Pregnant women are wrong to expect their employers to hold their positions for them until they are ready to return. Running a business, especially a police department, is not about providing jobs. It's about providing a product or a service. In this case it's about providing law enforcement for a community. Is crime going to stop because she decided to have a baby? Nope. Her choice, she should live with the consequences.

nonmember avatar Amber

I agree with floridamom. Why should the police force or any company have to "make up" a job which suits a pregnant woman, when there is none? And pregnancy shouldn't be considered a disability. Because it's not. You're not born being pregnant. It's temporary. You chose to be pregnant. It's basically demanding to be paid for doing nothing, which is welfare.

Flori... Floridamom96

Pregnancy is neither a disease nor a disability. It is a CHOICE. If you make the choice be prepared to live with the consequence.

OkieOBRN OkieOBRN

I disagree. I have recently been in this position...a job doesnt have to hold your position ..or offer light duty assignments. If your not able to do your job as described in the official position ... then you can be let go. If i hurt my back and cant work for a year...my job has to hold my position? Nope.. not unless it happened at work.



Like i said...not fair but administrations have ways of getting around things. Its just life.

Jespren Jespren

Discriminitory? Yeah. Illegal or even unethical? Probably not. Federal fmla laws allow for 3 months of unpaid disability and/or maternity leave (meaning under certain circumstances you can get up to 6 months unpaid leave during a specific year if you have a specific disability before/during or caused by a pregnancy as I did). After that time though your employer has no legal obligation to hold your job or accept you back. Likewise a job must legally do what they 'reasonably' can to accommodate pregnancy related limitations. "Reasonably". A small police force may very well be completely unable to provide for pregnancy limitations within any sort of reasonable ability (even though a larger police force probably could). Which means she can work at her current job as long as she's able to do so (including meeting physical benchmark requirements) and then she has 3 months when they must hold her job for her. If her leave takes longer than 3 months then they have neither legal nor ethical obligations to hold her job for her. They need a warm body to do a specific job, it's not their ethical or legal obligation to need *her* to do that job, just to fill the position with someone capable of doing it

Caera Caera

I can easily see how this could happen. She's probably in a really small town, and if there's no money for another "light assignment" job, then there's no money. It's not like they can fire someone else to free up money for her.


I live in a good sized city in South Florida, and here they're actually downsizing the police force on top of requiring reductions in pay because of city and county budget deficits.


So, what happens? She can't do her regular job. They don't have the money to create another job for her. No one is going to give up their own job to free the money to create a job for her. So, she takes her paid maternity leave early, then has to quit, and has no job to come back to because they have to hire someone to replace her while she can't do her job for the year (plus).


It sucks, but I don't think it's discrimination, especially if there's a hiring freeze in that city like there is in mine. I think it's just a sign of the times.


 

Kmakk... Kmakksmom

Absolutely!  If I knew then what I know now, I could have sued my company for discrimination when they fired me after I got back from my maternity leave.  That was back in '99, and I didn't know the laws like I do now...

Jeric... Jerichos_Mommy

Se was absolutely discriminated against.

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