Sometimes the Gray Lady does a good deed. I mean, she spends a lot of time preening, and baiting us with the travails of the city’s most obnoxious, narcissistic 22-year-old as he searches for a $3700-a-month apartment big enough to decorate like an Orientalist bordello, complete with a huge oil painting of himself. But sometimes she also manages to help an unfairly fired pregnant woman get her job back:
Ms. Valencia, who earned $8.70 an hour as a potato packer for Fierman in the Bronx, was told by her supervisors in August that she could not continue working unless her doctor gave her a full-duty medical clearance. (Ms. Valencia, who had a miscarriage last year, was told by her doctor that she should work only eight hours a day, no overtime.) Lawyers for Ms. Valencia said the company had violated New York City’s Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers. Her story was the subject of a Working Life column on Monday.
My god, what employers will try to get away with when they think nobody’s looking. Sadder still is that most of the time, nobody is looking. If you’re working while pregnant, know your rights.
To quote NBC News:
The companies offer egg-freezing coverage under slightly different terms: Apple covers costs under its fertility benefit, and Facebook under its surrogacy benefit, both up to $20,000.
It appears at this point that Facebook and Apple only offer this benefit to female employees; they don’t, for example, offer married couples the chance to freeze the eggs of the spouse who does not work for the company. (I’m making this assumption because the news stories I’ve read have only mentioned offering the benefit to women. I’m also hoping “women” encompasses all people with ovaries, but again, they didn’t say.)
It’s an interesting move, first because it acknowledges that delayed childbearing is a true cultural shift, and second because it’s a subtle reminder that one of the reasons women delay childbearing is because they’re working to build their careers at groundbreaking, all-encompassing companies like Facebook and Apple.
Lean in, don’t leave before you leave, and put your eggs on ice.
+ Sold two big bags of small toddler clothes: $20 total. This involved inventorying and then trying to list items on the Park Slope Parents Classifieds board, only to realize I no longer had access to Classifieds. I had to figure out who to email about that, email them, wait for a response, and contemplate ditching the whole shebang on the sidewalk and hoping someone worthy would wander by and grab it instead of one of the many neighborhood shahs. Odds: 40 to 1 against.
Finally I confirmed with the right person that I did, indeed, pay my $35 annual fee in June for the right to get emails advertising “homemade natural toothpaste” and to sell stuff that I myself got second-hand or for free.
Then I had to negotiate by email with people who want X but not Y, or who want everything but can’t come til next week, and what brands are the shoes because her baby’s feet are wide; and strike the best balance; and wait some more.
The buyer arrived at last, sweet and eager. My daughter’s only four months old, she told me, so we won’t need this for a while, but I thought I’d snatch it up. Four months! I said. How’s it going? Fine, she said, dreamily. She’s gotten so big, I’m already dreaming about another.
This woman could not exist and yet there she was, pushing a twenty into my hand with a smile.
Do you bike to work? Back when I regularly went to an office, I walked the two miles every morning. I was also a Xootr Commuter for a while (this means I rode a kick scooter while simultaneously being an adult wearing an Ann Taylor Loft sheath dress), but quickly went back to walking.
Fantasies and gratitude for reality aren’t mutually exclusive! Or maybe fantasies distract from gratitude. I don’t know! It’s not greedy! Or is it?
As I passed by him he shouted something else that I didn’t quite hear. I turned around, said, “What?” “Who’s watching your BABY?!” he repeated, laughing a little.
I spun around to make eye contact with him. “My HUSBAND!” I said and spun back around and crossed the street.
Perhaps, after trying my whole life to get straight A’s and excel and do everything perfectly, I don’t want to feel like there’s a “right” way to do my fertility.
At last, at last, the US Department of Labor (and Delivery? ba-dum-ching) has started a push on the subject of paid leave:
The most important family value of all is time together. With the changing nature of our 21st-century workforce, it’s getting harder and harder to balance the demands of the family you love and the job you need. Change has yet to come to Washington, but momentum is growing in the states: So far, California, Rhode Island and New Jersey have passed paid leave laws. It’s time to update workplace policies that are stuck in the past and give more Americans paid family leave – to take care of sick loved ones and newborn children. It’s time for us to #LeadOnLeave.
You have to chuckle at the idea of us “leading on leave” at this point, when we have lagged so far behind for so long. But I understand the hashtag as a framing device: Americans don’t want to do anything unless we can be bravely at the vanguard, waving the sword way out front as others fall in line behind, so, okay, sure, let’s “#LeadOnLeave.” Anything to help us stop pouting on the ground with our arms crossed.
What are these new state laws? Here’s some info about the situation in Rhode Island for example (“an employee can have up to four weeks of paid time off from work without fear of losing their job to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child through birth, adoption or foster care”). Gee, that sounds idyllic. Maybe we’ll move to Provincetown Providence after all.
Thursdays are a great day to do that 1 thing you need to do but don’t want to do but need to do.
We forgot about 1 thing! So now my 1 thing is to post “Do 1 Thing” before day’s end. Oops. No, okay, that doesn’t count. My 1 thing is child-related: Babygirl turned two and we’re throwing her a hopefully casual, low-key party this weekend in the park. Can any party really be casual and low-key when people travel to get to it, though? Probably not. My mom is coming, and various in-laws, and other family members, and they will want food to chomp on even though the party was planned strategically for a non-meal time. I said no gifts on the evite but people will bring gifts (we’ve received some in the mail already) so there will be thank you notes and clean up afterwards, as well as stress and prep work in advance, some of which is to be done today. So yeah! There it is.
What’s your 1 thing?