- The Washington Times - Friday, December 21, 2018

Planned Parenthood has vowed to “do better” after more than a dozen current and former employees accused the organization of mistreating pregnant workers and new mothers.

Current and former employees from Planned Parenthood offices in California, Texas, North Carolina, Florida and New York told The New York Times in a report Thursday that some managers “declined to hire pregnant job candidates, refused requests by expecting mothers to take breaks and in some cases pushed them out of their jobs after they gave birth.”

Additionally, only six of Planned Parenthood’s 55 regional offices offers paid maternity leave for pregnant workers, and only about 20 offices let new mothers use short-term disability to earn a portion of their salaries, the report said.

“It was looked down upon for you to get pregnant,” Carolina Delgado, who worked at a Miami office until 2012, told The Times. “I don’t think that any supervisor had to literally say it for us to feel it.”

A former hiring manager at a Planned Parenthood in California said an employee’s pregnancy or likelihood of getting pregnant would sometimes hurt their chances of getting promoted.

“The former manager said her colleagues felt they couldn’t afford to promote someone only to lose them for several weeks,” the report said.

Dr. Leana Wen, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said she was “deeply disappointed” by the allegations in a statement on Twitter Thursday afternoon.

“As a public health leader who has fought for years for paid family leave legislation and accommodations for pregnant and postpartum women, I believe we must do better than we are now. It’s our obligation to do better — for our staff, for their families, and for our patients,” she wrote, in part. “Daily political attacks have created widespread financial uncertainty, but we strive to meet the needs of our staff who must be supported as they provide expert health care and education to patients who depend on Planned Parenthood health centers every day.”

Ms. Wen said the organization will investigate the allegations reported by The New York Times and also conduct a review to determine the cost of providing paid maternity leave to employees.

“We will also continue to fight for federal and state laws to establish paid family leave and provide workers with the support they need,” she wrote. “The New York Times article reminds us of the abiding and widespread inequity in American workplaces. Too many workers are not receiving emotional and material security for themselves and their families. This is an issue of equity, health, and justice. Planned Parenthood is stepping up. We encourage other employers to do the same.”


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