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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nonmember avatar SonnyB

Jespren explained it well. The same thing happens with disability, so there's no relief there. FMLA only requires the employer to keep your job open for you for 3 months and for some employers that is a big stretch. And that is if your job is FMLA-eligible and you've worked there long enough to accumulate the hours to qualify for FMLA (usually 1 year). If you use all of that 12 weeks, too bad, you have to wait another year (approx) to accumulate enough hours to re-qualify for FMLA.

Yes, it's discriminatory and, if an employer holds your job for you, consider yourself lucky. Consider it from a business-person's perspective. Could you afford to have an employee *not* do the job for 3 months or more? Hire a temp? Takes time to train them and costs more money.

Meg Lawson

I'll be honest, this is one of the main reasons I did not follow through with becoming a law enforcement officer after all the work I went through getting my degree, doing my internship, completing courses and trainings, etc.  A couple of female officers warned me about this exact kind of situation.  It's very sad, but from what I hear this kind of thing isn't exactly uncommon. :/

LizB86 LizB86

This would not happen to a woman in any other industrialized nation in the world. Just saying.

nonmember avatar Tiffany

Im so glad I'm leaving the US for a civilized county that has paid maternity leave through the state. I'll be glad to pay taxes to go to such a worthy cause.

nonmember avatar sadie

i'm sure a lot of us have heard about when cops do something bad they're put on 'desk duty.' why couldn't they just do that for her? i hope she has a big lawsuit on her hands that makes it so she won't have to work for a long time, cause this is bullshit.

jessi... jessicasmom1

i hope she wins , they can not do that . discrimination of a woman ! we are made to bore offspring it happens

work4... work4mickey

floridamom

I understand that in this case it was a choice

but according to you if a woman is raped, (these positions are established on other threads)

She should not be allowed to have an abortion

Her employer has no obligation to accomadate her condition

The government should provide no assistance



You are comfortable having a womans life ruined (because if you have to go through a pregnancy and loose your job, and have no support, your life is ruined) because she is a rape victim.

mcr17 mcr17

i dont think its discrimination. they had nothing for her to do. should they have just paid her to sit around at the station all day?

Bonneata Bonneata

I agree with peppy pack. This happens to often I was in similar situation myself . We need to pass legislation that draws the line on this issue and educate the employer as well so they can't come up with any bs excuses or legal loopholes that allow them to come up with a seemingly unrelated reason and still fire you.

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