Pregnant Hospital Worker Forced to Take Unpaid Leave Because She Couldn't Lift 50-Pound Bags of Trash

The National Women's Law Center filed a complaint today with the U.S. Office of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on behalf of Amy Crosby, a 30 year-old pregnant hospital cleaner in Tallahassee, Florida who had to go on unpaid leave because her employer, Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, wouldn't accommodate her doctor's request that she not lift more than 20 pounds (what a wuss) during the second half of her pregnancy.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act requires employers to make accommodations for pregnant workers if they do so for workers with similar limitations, and Tallahassee Memorial Hospital had transferred staffers to lighter duty in the past when they had temporary physical disabilities or on-the-job injuries. But Crosby's supervisor told her that the hospital doesn't make accommodations for pregnant ladies, because female workers should ideally be seen and not heard during the entire childbearing and raising process, from fertilization to college graduation.

The day Crosby made her request to temporarily not have to lift massive bags of linen and trash, she was sent home on unpaid leave, and informed that she would be terminated if she didn't come back by April 11th.

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"I had been working as a cleaner for almost a year when I was forced onto unpaid leave," she said in a statement. "I often lifted 25-50 pounds of linen and trash. I was a hard worker. When I asked whether I could avoid lifting heavy items for a few months based on my OB-GYN's advice, I was able to do all the other parts of my job. But I was simply told to pack up my things and go home. My fiancé and I are struggling to make ends meet as we prepare for our baby's birth in May. I've lost over two months of salary that we both counted on, I've used up valuable leave time that I had hoped to use after the baby was born, and now I am worried I am about to lose my job."

"Amy Crosby's situation is not an anomaly," said Emily Martin, NWLC Vice President and General Counsel. "This complaint is a reminder that some pregnant women across the country—especially those working in low-wage jobs-face discrimination on the job when they need a small adjustment or accommodation that would allow them to keep working." Women are so demanding, right?

[NWLC]