My patient, whom I’ll call Anna, worked as a retail cashier. At seven months pregnant, she was having difficulty standing on her feet for long periods of time, a requirement of her job. Her manager informed her that she couldn’t use a stool, nor could she drink water or use the bathroom during her shift.
Because her job refused Anna these basic accommodations, she fainted while at work, hit her head, and had to come to the hospital for evaluation. Fortunately, she was fine unlike other patients who have been fired or forced to take unpaid leave due to natural side effects of their pregnancy, and in this case, unnecessary consequences due to unreasonable demands from her employer.
All of this could have been avoided had she been allowed water and a stool. No woman should ever have to choose between her job and her pregnancy. We must continue advocating for the rights of pregnant people across the country.