A Viral 1969 Termination Letter Shows How Pregnant Mothers Were Treated Before Maternity Leave
A Viral 1969 Termination Letter Shows How Pregnant Mothers Were Treated Before Maternity Leave (Photo Courtesy: Pexels and Twitter/Michaela Cornell)

Have you ever how it was like being a working woman getting pregnant while in your working tenure before maternity leave existed? Working women getting pregnant before maternity leave was made mandatory had to face ill-treatment and were terminated just for being pregnant. Recently a termination letter from 1969 is doing the round all over social media that exposes the brutal truth that existed before maternity leave was a thing. A daughter took on to social media to share a letter her mother received from the board of education at the school she was employed in the 1960s and it may infuriate you.

Women were simply fired because of pregnancy as if it was her fault. Considering that birth control wasn’t even recognised by the FDA until 1960 you can imagine how far off the dream of being treated the right for pregnant women was.

Take a look at what the termination letter read that was shared by the daughter when her mother was pregnant back in 1969 :

“Dear Mrs. Cornell,

We regret to inform you that we must consider your request for a Leave of Absence as a termination as of December 31st, 1969.

This is necessary since our Board does not yet approve maternity leaves. When you are ready to return, you should notify our office of your availability for another teaching position.

May we at this time thank you for your services as a member of our staff.”

Here's the tweet:

Mrs Cornell is reportedly from Canada, and brace yourself for the bitter truth but in Canada, the FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) leave was officially passed in the year 1993. This letter received a lot of reactions that prove that even though the Act may have passed but in the real, practical life, working women during pregnancy are mistreated and often thought to be as a burden.

Take a look at a few reactions on Twitter:

In India, the Maternity Benefit Act 1961 entitles a woman ‘maternity benefit’ that is a full paid absence from work. This act is applicable to all companies employing 10 or more people. The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act passed in March 2017, increases the maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks also increasing the prenatal leave is also extended from six to eight weeks. However, it is still a far-fetched dream for this law to be implemented in the real sense. Other issues like gender pay gap and sexual harassment in the workplace still existing in the society even after various laws on paper is proof that we still have a long way to go. Attention New Moms! Here Are 8 Tips For Getting Back To Work After Maternity Leave