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:
My mom kept this. Perhaps as proof of the bullshit women had to put up with. “You’re pregnant? You’re fired.” pic.twitter.com/QmDrpyNmes
— Michaela Cornell (@mcpublic) July 28, 2018
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:
My grandmother had to quit her job at the beginning of each of her FOUR pregnancies, then ask for her job back afterwards. And she was a NURSE. https://t.co/zm2WFLWzR0
— Meg Goeke 🏳️🌈 (@meg_merilees) July 28, 2018
A cellist colleague of mine became pregnant (playing in a professional symphony orchestra - 70s) they "allowed" her to continue to play as long as she 1) was sitting in her chair before the house opened, and 2) remained in her chair until the house cleared... about 3.5 hrs later
— Julia Indigo (@JuliaIndigo) July 29, 2018
My mom was also fired from her job when she found out she was pregnant with my sister. In the late 80s. Of course, they had to come up with some other 'reason' for firing her, but anyone who thinks this doesn't still happen is woefully naive.
— Meg Goeke 🏳️🌈 (@meg_merilees) July 31, 2018
Still happens today in many small companies. My wife’s company (50-ish employees) acted very magnanimous when they told her “we’re not obligated to honor FMLA, but we’re going to do it for you.”
— Kurt (@kirby697) July 28, 2018
I got fired in 1973 when I told my boss I was pregnant. Threatened to sue them so I could be “laid off” so I could collect unemployment and won.
— ldoreable (@ldoreable) July 28, 2018
There are many of us who have similar stories regarding legal discrimination against women back then. Recent gains, while still inadequate, cannot be taken for granted. We need to continue to fight for equal rights for all; women, POC, LBGTQ, religious minorities, disabled
— terry (@UrVoteIsUrVoice) July 28, 2018
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