One woman was in her second trimester when blood gushed out into her jeans after a grueling 8-hour shift. Another was near the end of the first trimester when she woke up bleeding after a day spent lifting hundreds of boxes. Another woke up on a blood-stained mattress after her request to leave work early the day prior was denied. Another fainted on the warehouse floor after nearly 14 hours of working on her feet. All of them lost their pregnancies. And they’re not alone: A New York Times investigation found that at least five women have had miscarriages (one of whom had two) while working at a warehouse in Tennessee that processes Verizon shipments, and more have lost a pregnancy—including one woman who had a stillborn baby—or gone into premature labor while working at numerous other physically demanding jobs.
At the warehouse, owned and operated by two different contractors in recent years, all of the women say they had requested light duty and been denied; three of them brought in letters from doctors that they say were disregarded. The Times found women in other industries similarly had their requests for accommodations rejected, and explains why such refusals are "often completely legal." Basically, there's very little in federal law protecting expecting mothers at work, and though some lawmakers and activists have tried to change that, little has come of their efforts. There are more horrific details in the Times story, including the invoice one woman received from her supervisor for the ambulance ride that took her from work to the hospital and another woman's claim that her supervisor told her to get an abortion. Click for the full article. (They called it stillbirth. El Salvador called it murder.)