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Women accuse Planned Parenthood of workplace discrimination

Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

Women working at Planned Parenthood and other female-focused organizations say they are being discriminated against for being pregnant and becoming new mothers, a New York Times investigation finds.

Why it matters: This kind of discrimination is so rampant in the workplace, "even organizations that define themselves as champions of women are struggling," the Times reports.

  • Female employees at Avon, the self-described "company for women," sued after being required to handle toxic chemicals while being pregnant.
  • Women at prenatal testing company Natera said they were demoted while on maternity leave.

At Planned Parenthood, a pregnant medical assistant said she wasn't allowed to take breaks required by her doctor to maintain her health.

  • Supervisors took possible pregnancies into consideration when discussing who could receive a promotion, a former hiring manager told the NYT.
  • A former human resources manager said executives "assumed that when a pregnant worker brought in a doctor’s note, it was an excuse to work less."
  • An employee from a Miami Planned Parenthood office, Carolina Delgado, told the Times: "It was looked down upon for you to get pregnant. I don’t think that any supervisor had to literally say it for us to feel it.”
  • Planned Parenthood also doesn't provide paid maternity leave, the Times reports.

What they're saying: The president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Leana Wen, told the NYT: "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."