Giving Birth To Inconsideration

, , , , , , , | Working | April 10, 2018

I was hired into my convenience store job pregnant, with management aware. Everything started out okay, but as time goes by and I near the end of my pregnancy, my feet become extremely swollen and painful to stand on continuously, usually reducing me to tears if I don’t get a chance to sit down. I also get winded easily and feel faint if I overwork myself. Simply sitting for a few minutes and drinking water fixes it. I can still perform my job duties, but my doctor wants me to have access to a chair or a stool while I ring out customers. He writes a note, I give it to my manager who has no problem offering me a chair, and everything seems okay. I should also mention I’m not a smoker, so I do not get any other breaks apart from my lunch, while smoking employees get a break about every half hour.

A few weeks later, I’m working the register and stock, and the district manager comes in. I have my chair next to me and occasionally stop between totes or customers to sit down and have a breather. A few minutes after she comes in, the assistant manager comes up to me and tells me I have to go home, because the district manager said I was a liability. Furious, I go to the back office and ask for a letter from her stating that she is sending me home and why. She says they need a doctor’s note stating I can still work, and until then, I’m not allowed. Then she tells me to call the disability office.

I leave in tears and immediately call human resources. A few days later, the regional manager tells the district manager that I am indeed allowed to work, and I return, with no more issues.

About a week before I am scheduled to go on maternity leave — I am 36 weeks — the district manager returns. At this point, I’m very pregnant, so much so that people ask if I’m having twins. I’m also having practice contractions and am generally uncomfortable, but I still work, as it’s relatively simple and I only have a few days left.

The district manager walks up to me while I’m straightening the front end and hands me a bucket of hot, soapy water and a rag. She tells me to get on my hands and knees and clean the bottoms and tops of all the displays, shelving, and vending machines. I have just dusted them the day prior, but I guess that wasn’t good enough.

I spend the next three hours scrubbing on the floor and on a broken step-ladder, while also ringing people out. It is hard work, and I am able to do it, but it was still pretty inconsiderate, especially considering there are three other employees there who aren’t about nine months pregnant and working the till.

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