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  1. #1
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    Pregnant policewoman's request for light duty denied

    I wonder if they ever honor a man's request for light duty temporarily while dealing with a health issue. It isn't like she is asking for light duty permanently, just for a few months. It really seems unfair to me. Is it a way to keep women from being on the force, or to deny them motherhood? There are physical changes during a pregnancy that might make it hard to do some things, and if light duty jobs are available, why shouldn't she get one for a few months? I don't think she should have to take a leave of absence if she wants to work and there are jobs available.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,354263,00.html

  2. #2
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    If her doctor says that there is a reason why she CANNOT work her regular duties, they will have to respect that. However, she is only 2 months pregnant and is capable of doing her job. If she doesn't want to put the baby at risk she shouldn't be a cop. If they give her light duty just because she is pregnant, but is completely capable of doing the job, they would have to do the same for a guy who just doesn't want to work.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by luthersmama View Post
    If her doctor says that there is a reason why she CANNOT work her regular duties, they will have to respect that. However, she is only 2 months pregnant and is capable of doing her job. If she doesn't want to put the baby at risk she shouldn't be a cop. If they give her light duty just because she is pregnant, but is completely capable of doing the job, they would have to do the same for a guy who just doesn't want to work.
    You said what I couldn't get to come out right!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by luthersmama View Post
    If her doctor says that there is a reason why she CANNOT work her regular duties, they will have to respect that. However, she is only 2 months pregnant and is capable of doing her job. If she doesn't want to put the baby at risk she shouldn't be a cop. If they give her light duty just because she is pregnant, but is completely capable of doing the job, they would have to do the same for a guy who just doesn't want to work.
    I totally agree with that. When I was pregnant with DD I was working a job that put me in danger sometimes (when I was 7 months pregnant I was on the sidelines of a shoot-out between police and a murderer - the guy got killed, btw), did I wish I wasn't there - yes, but it was my job. Right now I am not working because I can't lift anything more than a gallon of milk at a time which didn't quite work out with my housekeeping job at a hotel. Doctor's orders, since about 2 months pregnant. If I had my old job still (which I can't because it's in a different country lol) I would still be working now.

    Just have to add though that if this officer's doctor thinks the baby is at risk for medical reasons from her doing her normal job then he needs to write her a note and that *does* need to be honored. But if it is just because of something that *might* happen because she's a cop, then no. Pregnant women do not need locked away from the rest of the world. She could fall down the steps and hurt the baby.
    Last edited by JanetElaine; 05-06-2008 at 02:50 PM.

  5. #5
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    people try to get light duty the minute they become pregnant all the time. when she has a medical need, then she should be able to have it, but if she does not, then they are right to deny the request (no i did not read the story, just the comments).

    i dont think any of us choose our jobs on a whim. especially an officer. she won a medal of honor in dec. for chasing a person with a loaded gun, maybe that is why she feels like this.

    take a rent a cop job.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by pedinurse View Post
    people try to get light duty the minute they become pregnant all the time. when she has a medical need, then she should be able to have it, but if she does not, then they are right to deny the request (no i did not read the story, just the comments).

    i dont think any of us choose our jobs on a whim. especially an officer. she won a medal of honor in dec. for chasing a person with a loaded gun, maybe that is why she feels like this.

    take a rent a cop job.
    I agree with you. If she doesn't have a medical need, she really is doing a disservice to all of the other women who take jobs that were once typically "male dominated" jobs. They don't want women doing certain jobs because of this very thing and by taking this route, she may be proving a point to some of them who believe that women still should be kept out of the department.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by pedinurse View Post
    people try to get light duty the minute they become pregnant all the time.
    Yeah and that's what it sounds like. With the effect Jeana described, plus something I experienced recently - when you are pregnant and really can't do your job because of medical reasons (risk to self and baby) people will assume you're using your pregnancy as an excuse to get all the cool easy assignments. I hate that. And I do not use the word 'hate' lightly or often. Now of course in my job there are no easy tasks so I had to quit altogether. Still some ex coworkers think I'm being wimpy. Yeah right. I love sitting around the house while I could be making some much-needed money. Not.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by luthersmama View Post
    If her doctor says that there is a reason why she CANNOT work her regular duties, they will have to respect that. However, she is only 2 months pregnant and is capable of doing her job. If she doesn't want to put the baby at risk she shouldn't be a cop. If they give her light duty just because she is pregnant, but is completely capable of doing the job, they would have to do the same for a guy who just doesn't want to work.

    The article says her doctor agrees, but I agree with you. If her doctor did not agree then she should not receive light duty.

  9. #9
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    Sounds like this department is in BFE and has no clue how to handle this. They have NO policy in place for an officer's pregnancy, largely b/c they only have 2 female officers on the whole force. Well, I wonder why? It's not exactly going to be featured in Cosmo as one of the best places for women to work if they won't even listen to her doctor!

    What a bunch of idiots. They'd rather lose this officer (who was decorated for bravery just a few months ago) than put her on a desk for a little while.

    God help them if she keeps working b/c she can't afford the unpaid leave and anything happens to that baby. It might have nothing to do with her work, but that is damned hard to prove (one way or the other) and she'd have a helluva a lawsuit if she felt like it.

    Why should she have to endanger her child to do her job? Would you ask a man to endanger HIS child or give up his career?

    IMHO that logic is no better than someone who would fire her for being pregnant in the first place. In fact, it could be argued that if they didn't want to deal with pregnant officers (and the possible complications) then they shouldn't hire women. But that would be illegal, wouldn't it. Interesting.

    I'll bet you anything that by the end of this they wish they had just let her have the light duty. It will have been cheaper.

  10. #10
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    Okie dokie, then.

    The Chief takes the easy way out, "just following township policy." At least the Mayor told the council to get working on a way to figure it out.

    This is something I know something about

    In an agency of 62 +/- officers, there should be enough light duty tasks that she can perform. Hello, LE offices are full of what???? (I know I'm leaving that wide open, ha!)....They're full of paperwork! Or, utilize her for crime prevention/education in the schools, auditing/organizing evidence rooms; running errands (non-uniform, not in a patrol car) and to/from court, ETC ETC.
    What do LE agencies often complain about? Lack of manpower and resources. It's coming up on summer months - she can assist with covering clerical duties/receptionist duties, etc. so as to relieve other staff. One of my former agencies also put light-duty officers in the Communications office, as well - they can assist with dispatching/911.

    Wonder what the township's history is regarding male officers with injuries or other disabling illnesses? No one has ever been in that situation? Doubtful.

    Ugggghhhhh...let me at 'em! I'll give them an earful of how to "think outside the box" for light duty activities, ha! JMO, of course.


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by DEPUTYDAWG View Post
    Okie dokie, then.

    The Chief takes the easy way out, "just following township policy." At least the Mayor told the council to get working on a way to figure it out.

    This is something I know something about

    In an agency of 62 +/- officers, there should be enough light duty tasks that she can perform. Hello, LE offices are full of what???? (I know I'm leaving that wide open, ha!)....They're full of paperwork! Or, utilize her for crime prevention/education in the schools, auditing/organizing evidence rooms; running errands (non-uniform, not in a patrol car) and to/from court, ETC ETC.
    What do LE agencies often complain about? Lack of manpower and resources. It's coming up on summer months - she can assist with covering clerical duties/receptionist duties, etc. so as to relieve other staff. One of my former agencies also put light-duty officers in the Communications office, as well - they can assist with dispatching/911.

    Wonder what the township's history is regarding male officers with injuries or other disabling illnesses? No one has ever been in that situation? Doubtful.

    Ugggghhhhh...let me at 'em! I'll give them an earful of how to "think outside the box" for light duty activities, ha! JMO, of course.
    Hard to imagine an obviously pregnant officer cuffin and stuffin' em, eh?

  12. #12
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    All she has to do is get the American Civil Liberties Union and she can sue for discrimination. However, perhaps all the male officers who are expecting babies can do the same. Give them a desk job for the duration of their partners pregnancy. Less chance of being shot behind the desk and everyone will be assured the new baby will have two parents. I have a female friend who is a police officer. She was given desk duty for all three of her pregnancies. It made for some bad morale with a few of the male officers who had to go out on the street. She was telling me one day a fellow officer said to her "I didn't screw you, but now it's my problem". Touchy situation all around. I think a few years ago there were a few female officers in New York who sued and won over the "light duty" during pregnancy.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Filly View Post
    All she has to do is get the American Civil Liberties Union and she can sue for discrimination. However, perhaps all the male officers who are expecting babies can do the same. Give them a desk job for the duration of their partners pregnancy. Less chance of being shot behind the desk and everyone will be assured the new baby will have two parents. I have a female friend who is a police officer. She was given desk duty for all three of her pregnancies. It made for some bad morale with a few of the male officers who had to go out on the street. She was telling me one day a fellow officer said to her "I didn't screw you, but now it's my problem". Touchy situation all around. I think a few years ago there were a few female officers in New York who sued and won over the "light duty" during pregnancy.
    When you find out you are pregnant you think a lot more about your body and taking care of yourself for the sake of the baby.
    I think women who are pregnant should always be put on light duty if requested. You would not go to a potential gunfight with a baby strapped to your belly. I know we can usually do most of the same things we always did thru almost all of our pregnancies. Why take the chance of putting a pregnant woman in the line of fire though? It has to be stressfull to even deal with that kind of work and that is not good for a woman who is pregnant. If the lady is concerned about the baby then let her have light duty.

  14. #14
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    I just posted but thought of another way to explain my thinking. Women that are pregnant suffer from anemia and morning sickness and all kinds of ailments that may prevent them from being able to perform their job. Police often are put in life saving situations and expected to chase down criminals and be ready for anything. Do you want a woman 3 months pregnant that is taking iron for anemia and just threw breakfast up an hour ago to help you? If a pregnant officer is sent then that is very likely what you will get. Could you sue? Sure.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by becklynn View Post
    When you find out you are pregnant you think a lot more about your body and taking care of yourself for the sake of the baby.
    I think women who are pregnant should always be put on light duty if requested. You would not go to a potential gunfight with a baby strapped to your belly. I know we can usually do most of the same things we always did thru almost all of our pregnancies. Why take the chance of putting a pregnant woman in the line of fire though? It has to be stressfull to even deal with that kind of work and that is not good for a woman who is pregnant. If the lady is concerned about the baby then let her have light duty.
    but she choose this line of work.
    when she is effected by her body's changes in her ability to run, ect and get hurt, yes she will NEED light duty.
    but right now she is TWO MONTHS along. you can't even tell she is pregnant and we tell all pregnant women at this point to resume and keep all regular duties.

    we have women who work waitressing jobs who come in at 2 months begging to be put on "light duty"... fewer tables, more breaks, fewer hours.
    BS!!! if you don't have a medical need, you don't need it!

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