Through our free legal helpline, we’ve been hearing from workers across the country who are facing economic insecurity and struggling to care for themselves and their loved ones due to the COVID-19 crisis. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) provides critical emergency paid sick leave and paid family leave rights for many workers during this pandemic—but too many workers, including those at large corporations, are excluded from the law.
Given no explanation, and misled by her employer to believe that her freelancer title meant she was not eligible to receive any paid family leave benefits, Jessica reached out to ABB’s free and confidential legal helpline. We helped her understand her legal protections, including her right not to be terminated because she took leave under New York’s paid family leave law, and we coached her on how she could advocate for herself to her employer.
While Jetaun was given a room to pump, the room was shared with another company, and a sign placed on the door was insufficient to ensure her privacy (which is often medically necessary for milk expression). At one point, a male employee entered without knocking while she was pumping. Jetaun was very upset by this violation of her privacy, and she brought the issue to a manager, to no avail.
Late last year, Allison* reached out to us with questions about maternity leave. She works for an engineering company in NYC and was having trouble figuring out how NY paid family leave and FMLA interacted with her sick time and vacation days. We walked her through what rights she had and how they interacted with her existing time off. Earlier this month, Allison reached out to us again to let us know she was able to take all the leave she needed.
“I reached out to A Better Balance when I was confused about what parental leave I might be entitled to—my union had just agreed to opt-in to paid family leave, but no one seemed to have much information about how the program was going to work."
Through the hotline, we help New Yorkers find out if they’re covered under the law, what their rights are, and how to apply.
When she was around 6 months pregnant, she started inquiring about a private space where she would be able express breast milk, as she planned to breastfeed her child after giving birth. Her supervisors told her, “We’ll figure something out,” but never followed up with her.
It’s unacceptable that, under the law, many pregnant workers in 2018 aren’t able to get the immediate relief they need to stay healthy and on the job. Every pregnant worker in America deserves a clear right to accommodation.
Desperate to get her job back, Takirah asked her doctor to remove her lifting restriction. He refused, and instead provided her with information about pregnant workers’ right to receive reasonable accommodations under the New Jersey Pregnant Workers Fairness Act—a law that A Better Balance worked hard to pass.
Leigha Klopp was pregnant and working at Walmart. One morning, she woke up vomiting blood. She called the store to tell them that she was going to the hospital, on the advice of her obstetrician, and that she would need to miss work. When she returned for her next scheduled shift, Walmart fired her. We filed a class-action lawsuit against Walmart on behalf of Ms. Klopp and another former Walmart employee.